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afghanistan. that was done without the proper to her -- the proper advice and consent. -- what youxactly sure are referring to when you bring up the affordable care act. i do not know how many children you have, if you have children, but if you have a child, they can say are your healthcare insurance until you they are 26. if you have a pre-existing condition or they do, you cannot be denied coverage. and you are a woman, being a woman was a way that you could be charged more money. back no longer can happen. that is not a basis to charge you more. if you have a community health center out there, there is more money for those healthcare centers to provide healthcare for people. the affordable care act is going to do do a lot and have already done a lot. free non-co-pay checkups, mammograms, colonoscopies, different routine procedures that we need to find illness, find disease, cure it before
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gets more life-threatening and expensive. a lot of good things are going to happen. we are the last industrialized nation in the world to have national healthcare policy. what i have preferred a public option? yes. but the system we have got is the best that we have ever devised. started it iny massachusetts. it will help america, it and for many americans, we have got great health for people who can afford it. for or people, they do not have access to doctors living in the inner-city. that needs to change. on twitter from jack who writes -- do you think the founding fathers back in 1776 envisioned a secret fisa as key to a thriving democracy? don't know what they were thinking, and certainly they did not think about the fisa court. 1776really did not see in
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the first 10 amendments, the bill of rights did not come until later. the founding fathers were great. but they were not infallible. they were certainly wrong about women, who did not have the right to vote, and they were certainly wrong about slavery. there were other mistake that they made. amendments to the constitution the approved upon those, bill of rights improved upon those, but i do not think they envisioned the fisa court. host: manny, democratic caller. , iler: hi, mr. steve cohen am a democrat, and i'm trying to make you see a different way that we do. , all the cubans coming , our enemies for 54 years being sent over here to spy us. they do everything else, stealing from us, medicaid, medicare, doing the big things,
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helping people out there in other countries to honor revolution against the united states of america. they hate us. i have been here 51 years, mr. cohen, and i tell you we got the overry, the border is open texas. all over arizona and texas. but more texas. they come in here not on planes. their family go and pick them , and allup supplies coming on the greyhound bus. we have to stop that. they come in here -- what exactly do you want to stop you g? guest: they coming from venezuela, that guy, who is now -- enemy, the chance to spy
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host: do you think the people of venezuela our enemies -- caller: they are our enemies to o! host: ok. i moved to miami in 1951, which is about the same time they came, and back then a venezuelan was a great shortstop for the white sox. i think a lot of venezuelans come here for a better way of life, they come here for opportunity, to try to experience the american dream. i met a lot of immigrants who come here, young people that want to serve in the military, that one to have the opportunity to go to college and ,e able to get scholarships lotteries scholarship to give people an opportunity to get through college without so much expense.
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they cannot get those because they are not civilians. we need to educate those young people, past the dream act, make them american citizens, given that opportunity. it is reality we are dealing with. i know the general man is concerned. i cannot think the revolution is coming across our border. people are coming illegally, but they're not coming here to do revolution. i think if they could be a stopper for the nationals, they could do it, and i would be welcome to bring them in. host: let's go to las vegas, nevada, thomas, a republican. caller: my question is -- when you take 11 million illegal to become legal -- thens, you open up way they are and are living a legally outside the system -- illegally outside the system, you open up that whole economy for more evil evil aliens to come. illegal aliens to
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come. they have got to get minimum wage, contracts, licenses, all of a's are outside the legal process. they're now going to need workers or so illegal immigrants and fill up come in all the income but all the illegal aliens had. .uest: i disagree with you the business people are responsible for the problem because they are hiring these people. gal, if could have leav these people become legal, businesses would seek out more illegal people. i do not know if that is true. verify system. an e- you have to realize that people would not get welfare, would not get health benefits. it was over a decade before they could come citizens, they have to show that they have no felonies, no more than three misdemeanors, pay $500, register, have gainful
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employment, learning was, etc., and it is over a decade before the, citizens. it also closes the system to anybody that was on here before we will have a closer border call. it is not going to allow anybody ,ho was here before dember 31 2011 to process pay, so does not allow others to come here and participate. host: representative steve cohen from tennessee who represents the ninth district. he said on the judiciary committee. he is the top democrat on regulatory reform, commercial, and antitrust laws. he also serves on preservation and if a structure. he is in his fourth term. the different lawson, wisconsin, fred, independent line. you were on with congressman cohen. caller: good morning. i am a first time caller as well. i do agree with some of your ands on the fisa courts
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what you are attempting to try and do about it. hopefully those are genuine the issue ofuse oversight is something that is a major issue in our government, our country. --ot of things the and done things being done with furry little oversight, and with consequences that are unseen at this time. climate change, all of the things are major issues for the entire world, not just the united states. what't know if i see -- -- what is being done, actual boots on the ground
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programs, besides trying to switch over to the clean energy? is somethinge that is not 50 years ago anymore. now it is 50 years later, and we are starting to see the effects happening. guest: fried, there are a lot of things that have been done, and the president has beedone some things like that in order. the lady in texas may not be too thrilled about that, but we have higher standards for automobiles, so they are will have to get more miles to the gallon. that will help with climate change. there are all kinds of ways -- there is a light bulb issue, which republicans made a big deal about. save a lot of energy with new labels that saves you money in the long run. those types of changes to move to a more energy-efficient economy are really important. they're going to happen. more and more people using solar at the cost comes down. we need to bring the cost down to make it more available.
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we just saw the first transcontinental solar airplane flight. no fuel except the son, flew all the way from the west coast to new york. i think the future is going to be solar, and the future is going to be wind, and we need to get a hold of the future. our planet is in peril. also mentionedr you were working on he fisa court reform. how much are you hearing from other colleagues on this issue? some have read about the appointment process, i started working the bill on the floor to get sponsors. we put nine new cosponsors with the bill yesterday. a lot of other people are looking at a that are interested in the issue. it is a bipartisan team because not everybody agrees with everything i have got in my bill. our bill is there to create interest and open up --
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sometimes you have a marketplace of ideas, and you get people to look at ideas and talk. joe barton from texas, he is that some things he does not like about the transparency, even if it is just dealing with going through the intelligence committee, the judiciary committee. he is interested in the privacy. you might be interested in changing the way the court is constructed. there are republicans interested, libertarian type, as well as democrats. hopefully we will get something done. host: the peace in the "washington post," our guest representative cohen, fisa court accountability act, there is a difference of opinion by splitting the power to appoint justices.
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host: let's hear from william in florida, independent line. caller: good morning. i have got a question. there is a surplus of $160.5 million, and i would like to know what they intend to do with it, and a suggestion is to pay back the social security trust fund with that money instead of spending it on something else. guest: i'm not sure, william, which surplus you are talking about, but as we are running a tremendous debt, social security is important. i want to assure you that my colleagues on the democratic side are keeping since her -- are for keeping social security
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payments for the future. that is a contract we have for people. we need to maintain a strong social security system. we don't need to be changing the agent make people have to work long, difficult hours to get there social security and work longer. host: democratic caller, ohio. >caller: good morning. i've two comments. one is term limits. if we had term limits, we would eliminate a lot of this you are talking about, favoritism. my second comment is we do have a lot of issues here i am in .onstruction -- issues i am in construction. we do not talk about jobs, we talk about a lot of other stuff. i think we need to talk about jobs first, and then we will deal with all of the other issues. thank you. guest: jobs is a priority of the democratic cause this -- democratic caucus. we have had jobs bills before the congress, the president has presented a jobs bill but the republicans have not scheduled.
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the republicans have tried to really message a lots, had 37 efforts to repeal the affordable care act, and no acts -- no efforts to that's a jobs bill. .e is be top and infrastructure i think we are now 20 something in infrastructure in the world. we need a lot of roads and bridges and runways need to be prepared. they also create jobs in the long run because there is a way .o get to market we need to increase spending in our infrastructure. they know it is important to have an infrastructure bill. the leadership is not scheduling the bills for vote. penny wise and pound foolish. spending on infrastructure will help the economy now and in the future. that is so important. one issue i am really concerned about is the fact that the sequester, which i was against
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the process and the implementation, has cut $1.6 billion from the national institutes of health. fromof us is that risk different enemies, but from a common source -- healthcare, disease. we are going to be victims, eventually all of us, of aids, zheimer's, diabetes, cancer, strokes. our defense department is the national institutes of health. to cut monies from the national is reallyof health foolish because nothing we can do is more import and then finding jewels -- finding cures and treatments. the whole republican argument that we -- that cutting this money was helping future generations that do pay this debt is for woey in terms of healthcare. i hope that by the time you them, theem and i need
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odds are that people who are 13 years old will have to pay for them. they need to get the benefits out of the appeared we need to be sponsoring and do all we can to defeat illness. that is the national institutes of health. i think it is criminal that they cut 1.3 -- 1.6 billion dollars in the sequestration. i cannot get the republicans to understand in a bipartisan way to restore those cuts. federal cuts are to credit johns hopkins medical school. host: let's go to one less color. at in jackson, tennessee. , pat. last caller caller: good morning. i would like to see an investigation where were ,peaking of taxes being raised
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and one of the first scares mentioned getting rid of the iris, which i don't know how we would operate the country if we don't have the taxes. however, i have heard about -- foreigners purchasing businesses in america to my and they are ten years toto run the business tax-free. and then that same business, they turn it over to a brother, a cousin, and then they get it and run the business tax-free for another five to ten years, and they keep on extending it. can that be investigated? guest: i'm happy to hear from 70 from the home state, the volunteer state. i will ask my staff to look into that. i think we need to seriously look at that. they should not be competing on a vanished playing field.
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i will look into that. thank you for bringing it to my attention. host: commerce and steve cohen, democrat of timothennessee. thank you so much for your time. guest: nice of you to have me. i want everybody to come to memphis. we have the best barbecue, the best people, and the best music. host: coming up next, america by the numbers segment takes a look at the garden and early education. we will be right back. ♪ >> earlier, some in touch upon
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idea that women could not really predict their role in entering into the white house. i did find one political observer who commented that mary started with mr. lincoln when he was a poor young man and with no more idea of being called to the presidency then of being a cannibal. inever, i try and lay out my book an educated guess that mary lincoln would not have let a little thing like human sacrifice come between her and her goal because she was a very determined woman, she did talk about mr. lincoln's role of entering the white house feared she was someone who was a true political partner. >> as we continue our conversation on first ladies, we will hear from historians and arthur's, -- and authors, including patricia radiant catherine clinton, monday night at 9:00 eastern on c-span. >> it is absolutely vital that we identify our into me correctly.
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because it is very hard to find someone that you don't idea -- that you don't identify correctly. and these attacks on our homeland and others such as the 2005 london bombing have been connected by a common motivation and a singular purpose -- the underwear bomber, the time tsarnaevtend, the brothers, the one at the fort .ood, are all jihadist quickly speak about social let men the old -- >> speak about social media and the old adage they cannot establish mitigation during a crisis. we have a significant presence on social media. we engaged not only in a one- way communication but in a dialogue with people in the community about issues and days in and day out. we were able to use social media effectively in a minute
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after the blast to a form people where they could go as to what happened, where they could meet loved ones. there was an enormous amount of upset in the community, and we used social media to tempt that down. >> this weekend, the house and senate homeland security look at the boston marathon bombing saturday at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. secretary bill bennett questions is college worth it night at 845 p.m -- u.s.u.s. for me marines fight the banana wars sunday 1:00. >> "washington journal" continues. host: this week on our america by the numbers segment, we take a look at kindergarten and how it matters in the education i sure for american. our guests are chris chapman with the national center for .ducational statistics
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he is the science branch chief. we are also joined by barbara willer, with the national association for the education of .oung children she is the interim executive director. chris chapman, we will start with you. where we talking about kindergartners? kindergarten is a crucial year. is there introduction to public education. because of that, we initiated a longitudinal study recently that will follow the development of kindergartners from the time when they enter kindergarten to the l a mentor great. host: what are you seeing so far? guest: we measured several assets of growth and develop your today, we will phone -- focus on the reading, math, and find -- and science assessment that the children took part of the study, and we will talk about the future assessment of the children's learning behaviors. what we find is that the first time converters from poor
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amilies and from, excuse me moment, and first time in kindergartners of insertion -- of certain background check -- of certain background to not as well as others. they seem to fall. there are other characteristics like that. we will talk about those at bit later in the presentation. host: robert willer, -- our , why is ita willer important to you? guest: convert is very important. it is a time of transition from less formal learning .pportunities kindergarten is really the first time when nearly all the states provide public services to , there are clearly a
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number of prekindergarten programs, but kindergarten is the first year of the traditional school year. so getting a sense of how children do in kindergarten really give us a sense of looking at the quality of the advancement we have made in children's lives and helps determine the trajectory they will have later on. host: here are the phone lines. parents can call us at (202) 585-3880, teachers can call it that (202) 585-3881, and administrators, (202) 585-3882. everyone else can jump in on the conversation at (202) 585-3883. chris chapman, let's take a look at the overview of kindergartners assessments and how they are performing. what did you learn? were: the students assessed in reading, math, and science during her kindergarten year, and then we also got teachers to tell us about the
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learning b kindergarten students. what we find is that the average kindergartners in reading are able to recognize letters and understands these sounds the letters make. they also understand the basics of reading in terms of being able to determine what direction to readings sentence and how books are put together. if you hold a basic sight words, they can tell you what the word is. but the math, by the end of the first year, they can see a number and point to it. they are able to do basic subtraction, addition problems using numbers less than 20 or so. they can identify some basic geometric shapes. they are not yet able to do some of the higher order mathematical functions like multiplication. thatience, the students
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we interviewed and we measured are able to identify the properties of the materials. they can discuss how simple objects move. they understand which parts of the body are related to which of the senses, and they have some basic understanding of principles. in terms of the courses of learning, we ask teachers to rate the children on seven different dimensions. such as eagerness to learn new things, a persistence in a pleading tasks. teacher score students on a one to four scale. we find that the students are pretty good learning behaviors. at both the beginning and the end of the third year. host: barbara, tell us more about the approach to learning about what that means, and why it is significant. guest: it really talks about children's ability to -- how they approach their learning in terms of curiosity, taking
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initiative, being able to stay on task in terms of remaining engaged in a learning activity, and these are the things that are really skills for learning, but as reading, math, and science activities, all of these developmental progressions that really begin for us before kindergarten. parents and childcare givers can begin to support in terms of ways that you give young children opportunities to make being read engage in to, for example, asking children questions to help them think what if, providing tasks where they can remain engaged, these are not always associated with academic success, yet are the tools for learning that will be very important for children's academic success all through life. host: so do something that can
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can be taught or improve upon. >guest: absolutely. host: let's go to the phones, we have a parent. caller: good morning. as i said to the person i spoke to before you, i am going to speak from a perspective that is somewhat older than just the past five or 10 years. my child is in her 40's. however, i am not only a proponent of kindergarten, i am k.proponent of epre- children have choices, letting them learn to learn, there is nothing more important, and it has so much less to do with academic performance because that comes in time, then it does with just becoming a good person, a good, well-
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rounded, all around human citizen of this world. there is nothing more important then you can give your child then the ability to learn to learn. and i pride myself on it. , and i want to emphasize i was a single parent, an individual that was so maligned right now, i was a single parent and i was a single parent at a time when there was no help for you. you went to work, you could not go to school unless you had your own money to go there. there was not a lot of help from the government, from any government, state, municipal, whatever. you had to do it on your own. host: we will go to our guest. how is your daughter doing now you g? guest: my daughter -- caller: my daughter is a
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federal prosecutor for the united states justice department. she went to a major ivy league school, harvard, and a full scholarship. she had 10 years off of school, and she was on a full. she was a well-rounded child. host: let's go to you, our , and talk abouter re-kindergarten education. very important looking at the services available to children. we haven't seen an increase in the number of states who are supporting prekindergarten programs, and it is something that the president has proposed --his large pre-k executive initiative in his state of the union address hopefully making its way through congress. so miller -- more children do have access to high-quality preschool services.
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host: let's take a look at the early education proposal that has come from the white house all in for a state of federal partnership aimed at preschool and kindergartners. we are also looking at $75 billion in proposed investment over the next 10 years. it would offer states resources to create, strengthen, and expand learning programs. also looking at the teacher- student ratio and getting more children from low and moderate income families eligible for early education. why is that teacher-student ratio so important, barbara willer? guest: the number of children that a teacher is responsible an important facet of quality. it actually depends on the ability to provide attention to children. you have very large groups, teachers and having to provide more instruction, we talked about approaches to learning as
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far as children who take initiative to really begin problem solving skills, those are things that are much better accomplished in small groups and active learning, that is harder to do with large groups of children. host: let's hear from christiana maryland. good morning. caller: i'm interested in this program because the guests are primarily speaking about the advantages of kindergarten, but i'm wondering if they can discuss what goes on in the home in terms of what parents do, exposing their children to howuage, to violent words, to give -- how that gives children an advantage based on their interaction with their families, possibly being exposed to different environments, traveling, those sorts of things. thank you.
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att: let's start by looking parent education and how that affects how their children perform. we can get into what our caller was talking about in a broader issue. guest: sure. the relationship between principal education and how children do on the assessments is pretty consistent across all the assessments that we fielded as part of the study. you will see on the flight in front of you that the students that had parents who had not completed high school consistently did worse on the reading assessment than did children whose parents had higher levels of education, all the way up to children whose parents had at least some graduate school. those differences were evident both of the beginning of the category year in the fall when we did first assessments and again when we assessed the children at the end of the school year. so the relationship between the parent education and the child's performance on these
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tests is pretty strong. host: barbara willer, can you jump in on this and talk about what the caller was referring to an far as how parents can prepare their children for school. best: the caller could not more right. the foundation begins in children's earliest years. that interaction with parents are absolutely critically creating in terms of the pathway to educational success. talking to children, listening to their questions, expanding on them, helping them create problem-solving opportunities, all really important things. i think it is really important to not only highlights how parents education is related to this, but also how poverty, and we can see some other slides, you will see that these are absolutely related. when families are in poverty, often parents are under stress in terms of the numbers situation that they're dealing with in terms of access to resources, jobs, perhaps lack of
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transportation, all of those factors make it much more difficult for families to ivevide that type of support educational environment to listen to children, take time to go on walks and explore things. when you are under severe stress, you deal with what you have got to deal with. many times it is children who pay the price of that in terms of opportunities for learning. i think you see that reflected in these outcomes. host: barbara willer is with the national association for the education of young children, where she is serving as interim executive director. she spent time at the preschool teacher, and she has a phd in human development. we also have chris chatman, who is with the national center for educational statistics, and he is the education science, the research center within the u.s. education department. he has worked with nces for 16
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years, focusing on early childhood development and children's development through early elementary school as well as other areas along the same lines. let's hear from inca in pennsylvania who is a parent. caller: good morning. i have my grandson, and i keep them at home with me. i work, and then his grandfather is here with him. we do teach them, but we want to teach them responsibility around the house. we believe very strongly in family. i think kids sometimes are taken into preschool because they have hebe, but my question is -- does well with numbers, he is good with numbers, he is trying to add and subtract, and he wants to read, but he does not really get the abc's. how does the person at home help him acquire this with being at home? in a family environment and is teaching him. i think, as you talk
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about, there are many things that you as adults can also do to support learning. reading to children is one important way. one thing i would encourage us to do is listen to his interests and build upon those. --may be that letters recognizing letters are not that interesting to him now. but keep reading, keep pointing them out, you will begin to see, i think it will begin to sink in. perhaps become more interesting over time. respond to his interests, it is a very good answer -- a very good way to help him encourage the approach. host: in terms of finding thematic areas of interest, you can read books -- guest: typically kids have something they're really interested in. i know one of my nephews love horses. so he learned his colors not red, yellow, blue, it was more tan, he learned to
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sort things in the name of horse breeds as opposed to things that might be very different for another child. so figuring out what that child's interest is and building upon that, helping him be spectacular and look for ways to store different things, help him recognize names. really building on an expanding that child interests is one of the best strategies for fostering a success. host: tell us about the numbers of what we have learned about head intore at kids kindergarten, where kids are being cared for. guest: this slide shows the dissolution of first-time kindergartners by the type of ram or a care arrangement they had the year before they went into kindergarten. we say that over half of them -- some kind of day care center or prekindergarten program.
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about 15% among their primary care was a relative care. 21% were actually not in any kind of regular nonparental care the year before converting. no regular nonparental care, so where are they? guest: they spend most of their time with their parents. host: oh, i understand. [laughter] thank you for decoding that for me. about first-time converters as opposed to what? guest: this is another research issue. we tend to focus on first-time kindergartners, and many of our analyses because children who are repeating kindergarten for the second, and sometimes their time, unfortunately, their scores and their ratings can
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get confounded with the fact that the students have already been through converted more than once. -- through kindergarten more than once. in termst do you see of where children are spending their time in school? ofst: the proportiona children in center-based reference is increasing. children success on the reading and math is related to this. i think it really does point to children's access to programs that are really defined, support their learning development, and also recent increase in the number of prekindergarten programs, particularly supported by the ,tate, also -- actually, laster we have seen that begins to tail off in terms of increased investments by states. that is probably a result of the economic downturn. , really important issue here
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from research beyond this, is that the quality of the childcare center or pre-skill -- preschool program really can't dictate the children's success in these measures. can dictate the children's success in these measures. host: chris chatman to talk about the higher reading schools about the children who are in daycare centers before they head into kindergarten. guest: children who had been in center-based care the year before had higher reading scores than children who had been primarily cared for by relatives or by children who have spent most of their time and nonparental, basically with their parents, the year before. that difference persisted through the spring assessment as well. what we found at the beginning of the year is still true at the end of the year. host: let's go to michigan and hear from alan. caller: good morning. i think you should study on how
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our military is taught in their a schools. ,hey do it very precisely whereas you have course study every week, and then you have a toy five question quiz on friday. -- a 25 question quiz on friday. if you do not affect quiz, -- , you repeatt quiz that week. that seems harsh, but it is not. the kids would get it. peer pressure, i'm sure there are parents out there that would be alarmed to know that kids get it. -- theso puts the chill teachers on notice. so it helps out both ways. at the end of the year, you don't have a big exam. you do not. you just have one more quiz. ,his will not clog the system and the ones that are not learning at the right rate after two weeks of study, they will get it. host: let's go to barbara
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willer for a response to alan's proposal. having continual assessments that allow teachers to have a handle on what children know and their understanding of the content is very important. used fort is informative purposes to really guide instruction. that is much more effective an end ofy relying on the year test that may be too late in terms of really helping we doinstruction so that know the children are supported in their learning. you also mentioned the military. i would just make a comment that the military has really recognize the importance of early childhood programs not only to support families as a factor of supporting a military member, but also that high- quality programs supporting children and helping them prepared for school success.
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-- sea of 20 quality tranquility rights -- children's maturity for rates, are there any dying phones -- are there any downsides to pushing them when they're too young, or garden or prekindergarten? as theyatman, kids enter category, how their ages making a difference. fort: we are looking at some kindergartners. we save the older children tend to perform better than the younger children on the reading assessments. the reading year starts off, and at the school year winds down in the spring. on the chart front of you, you see that the six-year-old in the fall scored 38 on the reading assessment as compared to a score of 31 for those children who are under age five when they first started hidden garden. as we move -- started kindergarten. , the move into the spring
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younger children are doing less well than the older children. host: barbara willer, are there trends in terms of the age range that families are sending their children to school you g? ,uest: in the last 25 years states have moved in the direction of requiring children to be older when they enter confirmed by going back the age of entry. that said, i think it is really important to remember that when you are five years old, one year is 20% of your lifetime, so if you think of how much you have learned in the last 20% of your life, you can understand that it is a pretty good chunk. so part of what we may see in terms of these differences is a result of maturity. as a parent, you may look at this and say if you have a child who's birthday is in august, and your school cut off time in september, you may say i've got to hold them back in order for them to succeed. but really, it is a much more
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complex issue than that because other research shows that any difference in kindergarten tends to fade or be caught up by third grade. actually, if you look further down the educational role, in high school, there may be some disadvantages to being the oldest kid in the class. so you really have to weigh these. the point is because you do have such a wide development all continuum, it is very important that teachers are prepared to support children as they enter. so we talk about school readiness being a part of our children ready for schools, but our schools ready for children -- of are children ready for school, but our schools ready for children? so that every child can learn and grow. host: bobby is a parent. hi, bobby. go ahead. bobby, you are on the air.
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what you have to say today? caller: say it again? host: what do you have to share with us? caller: my problem is i live in south rural georgia, and i've been trying to get you guys for a while to speak about schools in the county that i live in. it is separated as it was in the 1960's, white and black. from kindergarten to 12th grade. i would like to know what can i do to make the state know about this problem because kindergarten do not get the ability to even go to the first grade, but they are sent on. it is not the child or the parent, it is the school. what can be done about this? host: bobby, you are saying that
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the schools are not just teaching the kids well enough, your family members are not coming out having learned what they are supposed to? caller: that is right. they're coming out, but not with the ability that they should have. even going to college, they have in a lesser position than they should be. how can i go about getting that right with the state? host: barbara willer. guest: i think you're pointing out an issue in terms of the disparities in terms of the quality of school experience is that are available to children in different communities. in rural communities, that may be a factor in some cases. so really there is an issue about making sure that in state and federally that there is support for an investment in high-quality programs that support children and support
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making sure that cheaters have the education and child development so that they can -- make sure that teachers have the education and child development so that they can support the children. host: what kind of grandmother like our caller do if she felt like her family is not getting what they need and she does not feel empowered to make a difference at the school? there are advocacy groups that are available to work with others in the local school district but also at the state level to encourage change in ways that will make a difference. host: linda is in sarasota florida and is a teacher. go ahead. caller: i was really interested in what everyone had to say. i love what alan said about having a test every week. in my classroom, i actually teach that way.
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the parents know exactly what is expected, and then at the end of they are onek two, level, and if they are not on level, we do intervention right away. because you cannot wait very long, especially for the young child. guest: as we talk about tests, it is really important to think about what we mean in terms of assessment. i would absolutely agree that it is really important to know what children know, what their skills are, but that we not take a narrow view in terms of the traditional definition of academics in terms of the number of letters or number of numbers, but that we also consider the approaches of learning, because of we talk about, those tools are so essential in terms of long-term educational success.
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and that features a to be open to building on children's interests. it is very important to have a curriculum and to have a sense of outcomes that are expected for children and to provide support to reach them. ,ut a very narrow set of skills a sort of check off approach that is not reflect children's interest may end up being misguided. >> let the this graphic of the trends in education of a five year olds and where they are, they're doing has come to us from the national center for educational statistics, chris chapman is branch chief of education science. let us know, chris chapman, what this means. guest: this chart is showing us that basically now most children who are five years old in the fall of a given year are actually in kindergarten, so if you look at the very end point of the top line, you will see
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that 70% of five-year-olds are in kindergarten in the fall. from thectually down rates that we were seeing from the mid-1970's into the early 1990's wear anywhere between 75% and 80% of our five-year- olds were in kindergarten during the fall. in the early 1990's, that number went down a little bit. if you look at the chart, you see that most of the differences being picked up and increase enrollments in the prekindergarten programs. to any acts,o california, yolanda is a parent. i just wanted to make three points. one, it makes me cringe when people talk so formal about children learning. they are whole people, people in progress, and it is important that -- and i wanted to find out, are there going to be having programs that are more child base, facilitated by adults. what i mean is that i heard you
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talk about choice, children have to learn how to enter it -- how to interact with adults, they have to learn how to use their words, their minds are so open, they learn through so many things, and i was curious about that. the other was if there going to -- i guessowards a it is development oaken her and -- developmental kindergarten where et al. is not quite ready for first grade, but they already accomplished what is ed in kinder garden, but it is a program to help them mature. i have nothing that a lot -- i have not seen that a lot. my son was in it when he was in kindergarten. he just graduated from college. i strongly believe in the preschool, pre-k program. the holing which, whole learning, really gearing thing towards children, arts, science, outdoors, play, all of that's
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encompasses how children progress, and i have a lot of success stories. i used to do a daycare in my home, i later turned it into a pre-k program just for three- year-old and four-year-olds and i can tell you that children learn through their interest, play, and adults that are concerned. that is the way we're going to see success. host: when you say you turned the program from a daycare center to a prekindergarten education program, how did you change it, how was it different? i actually only to children that were three and four. the entire environment was just stimulated like a kindergarten program, but it just encompassed so much. we would go to marine world, we would bring the zoo in with animals, we would go on nature walks. my mother was a retired teacher. she would come in, and parents who wanted their children to learn to read, they were
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exposed to things that would help them to move towards reading. , what we talk about learning from children, adults tend to assimilate it through paper, numbers, letters, and children learn differently. if we don't get it at that young age where they learn to use their words and interact with adult, it is almost like building a house. it is a strong foundation, and whatever you lay, you're going to be able to build upon it. unfortunately, sometimes the building falls down, and it is because the foundation was not strong. host: thank you, yolanda. let's go to barbara willer. guest: amen. i think you described for the love of early childhood education quite well. one of the things we often see bethat there seems to almost a false dichotomy between academics and play or experiential learning. in fact, those every important in terms of children's early
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education. it is very important to note that there are certain goals that we want to achieve. for example, the common core has no expanded broad standards for elementary grade. they have implications for kindergarten and preschool. if you look at that standard of outcomes, those are good goals to have, but that is a goal for the outcome. it is not necessarily dictate the process of how we help children learn. as the caller described, having s helpsre experiential' build on the children's interests. , can are the way teachers earn programs among pre-k, as was for it -- as well as members can support children's learning. host: question on twitter -- what is the effect on sequestration on head start programs? guest: very important question.
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what we're seeing is a result of sequestration is many head start programs are being forced to close. headstart is our largest federal investment in comprehensive preschool programs that support families at the poverty line and below. so these are perhaps some of the most vulnerable children, and sequestration is making access to those programs much more difficult. so when we look at the graph that shows implications for we can --t property, at poverty, we can see how important headstart and programs like it are for children. a definite negative impact and why we need to make sure it is sequestration does not in them. host: sander is a retired co teacher. caller: thank you for taking my call. yolanda said it all. i hardly disagree with her. i was in public education for 31
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years, and i went into adversity. . i supervised student teachers for the last one years. i believe if we could teach parents how to do all of these things that yolanda said, i think our educational system is not taking full advantage of how we need to involve the parents. , find theler said students interest in something, and use that to teach them with their numbers and their letters -- their letters. we need to work with the parents. thank you very much for taking my call. ed froml right, california, a parent. just thinking that, you know it is discouraging that we do not have the funding for the school that we used to have. wondering, maybe they could take a look at the
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-- one-on-one, the students have to be considered. host: i think we lost him. let's go to george. caller: thank you, c-span, thank you for taking my call. i wonder fear center has found any correlation between the education level of teachers and the achievement of students. college education parents tend to have war successful children. what about teachers, and how do we attract teachers from the apple or -- from the upper levels of the college graduating class rather than from the middle as it now stands? guest: that is a good question. in this particular study, we did capture data on the
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educational attainment of the students teachers. not undertakene that announces just yet, for we do have the results available for us today. in terms of the broader policy question about how to attract more highly qualified teachers, that is something that we really cannot get into either because ratings data are not designed to explore the issue. in terms of how parents are educated, tell us what you learned there. we find that the children of parents who have the lowest levels of education tends to not do as well as the children whose parents have higher level of education.
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captions performed by national captioning institute] on on to 18% had depon obtain some graduate education. > at the point guest: in the end, teachers and parents that provide their children with lots of vocabulary and reading will see improvement. so focusing on the education of young children is something we need to see an investment, and support for families would help.
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host: barbara willer, from the national association for education, thank you for choing us. and chris chapman, education branch chief, thank you for your time as well. that's all for "washington journal" this morning. thank you for joining us again today. we'll see you tomorrow morning at 7:00 eastern time. e go now' wilson center. he upcoming election in mali set for july 28, later this month.
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>> the foreign minister for rkina faso will discuss the the presidential elections scheduled for july 28.
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the wilson's africa center is expected to introduce the foreign minister. live coverage expected to start in just a moment.
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>> again, we are live at the wilson center here in washington this morning awaiting remarks from the foreign minister of burkina faso. he will be talking about recent
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developments of security concerns in africa's sahel region. while we wait for this to get underway, some programming we have coming up on the c-span networks. this afternoon we are live at the heritage foundation as robert dove and the council for senator rand paul will be talking about changes to filibuster rules. that will be live here on c-span this afternoon starting at 12:30 eastern. >> also today, a talk about u.s. africa relations. president obama recently returned from a trip to africa. csif this afternoon will take a look at the president's policy toward africa. that will be at 1:30 this afternoon on c-span.
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>> here at the wilson center in washington, we are awaiting remarks from the foreign minister of burkina faso talking about security situations in the sahel region in africa. also, the upcoming election ns mali. that's later this monday on july 28. we are expecting to start in just a minute. c-span2, the g-20 summit in september in st. petersburg, russia. there is a discussion taking place about that at the center for strategic studies.
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you can see that this mourning on -- mourning on c-span2. it will probably go for another hour.
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>> ok. please be seated. welcome. let me welcome you to the wilson
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center and to this presentation foreign minister of burkina faso, djibrill bassole. we appreciate your attendance and your loyalty. this should be a very, very interesting session. the foreign minister is going to speak to us for just a few minutes. what we want to do is have a dialogue. we know there is a great deal of interest in what's happening in the sahel and northern mali. we will be speaking to all those subjects. i do want to make a statement to our ambassador who is here. we have the ambassador of sedeku and ambassador abuda. let's see who else is in the house. we have ambassador young from senegal. i have the name but i don't see you. oh, there you are. and kata from mali.
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coming in earlier. guinea, --om -- from from gedini. welcome to you all. this is, of course, you are at the wood row wilson center. the center was established by congress in 1968 for this very purpose, for bringing together the people who are involved in the making of policy and those who are experts around those policy issues. in that regard we are extremely happy to have with us the foreign minister whom i am sure you all know, and i won't do a long introduction. he and i had the pleasure of first meeting long ago over a lunch with professor charles fields.
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we were talking about a situation until burundi and how that might apply to the issues on the ivory coast. of course he is foreign minister and the special envoy to darfur. he came back as foreign minister. he has been very, very involved in peace building efforts across the continent. we are very, very happy to have a capable man of this caliber and this stature who is involved in the critical efforts around the peace settlements that we're seeking in the sahel and northern mali. with no further ado, let me invite the foreign minister to the podium, djibrill bassole, and we will have dialogue. thank you very much.
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>> thank you very much. good morning, everybody. ladies and gentlemen, the friend of mali and sahel. my dear friends from darfur. first of all, i would like to -- to my gratitude to mr. steve for giving me the opportunity to address you at this time and the presidential lection in mali. you do recall in this very room in march 2012 we shared views on the situation in mali in the context marked at that time by -- july 1, 2012, and the
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coute-de-ta that followed. we were all worried by the future of -- about the future of ali, and we hope that this country will recover its stability as soon as possible. heads of perspective, state, during their meeting on march 2012, appointed his excellencey president of burkina .aso as mediator for mali through dialogue, find a way to
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return to normal constitutional order. malization of the security situation into northern mali. i will be presenting these two points. the current situation in mali and finally the way forward with your contribution. first, a return to normal or traditional order. d'etat put us to a severe test. thus we undertook the military organizations actions in order to restore and to stablize
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nstitutions of the republic. to the respect of constitutional order. from iation also secure president senogal through which he said he would restore constitutional order. signed a 2012, he ormal agreement to return to onstitutional order plotted by e nation of president amadu tuani.
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as interim president in accordance with the constitution of mali. formation of the traditional government with a mission to securing a sustainable solution to the security crisis in rthern mali and organizing residential elections. including the acumen over the duration of the traditional period limited to 40 days. characterize aggression of the interim president by demonstrators on may 21, 2012. against coup d'etat
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hose involved. forced the resignation of the sheik and so forth. the period of dialogue which prevailed during the take-over, as well as the support of ecoas, an international community, made it possible to restore constitutional order and to get transitional government to adopt a roadmap, the implementation of which should lead, i hope, to the organization of presidential elections in july 28 of this year. we will talk about, of course, the role of captain sanagol.
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second, normalization of the security situation in northern mali. curitization of the ituation in northern mali, ecoas has helped claim independence. which promoted sharia law. aken into account, the terrorist groups, the policy adopted by ecoas in combination with a military push and a diplomatic push with a view to establishing dialogue with identity groups.
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we met on january 4 in wagadubu and discussed to which these movements dropped their independence claim, renounced sha rea law -- sharia law, committed to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, to promote human dignity and equality among citizens. unfortunately, the fundamentalist groups, the extremist groups, which did not have an interest in the process of reunification, launched an attack against the town of konal and progressed toward the south. with the aim to strengthen their sition and to prevent ecowas
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troops to be deported. faced this with this danger, and at the request of the entering president, they launched a military offensive against these extremist and terrorist armed groups. exited ntly, ecowas their troops in northern mali. the extremist groups having been overpowered, it appeared necessary and urgent to reestablish dialogue between nonterrorist armed groups and he traditional government. this was necessary for the presidential election in all
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sahel territory occupied by hese groups. started uly 18, we dialogue on -- on 8th of july we started talks between the traditional government of mali. the coordination of the national movement of the liberation of ad -- azowac. nees these trect talks were marked by the strong representation of ecowas as the accepted mediator. the representative of african union, the special representative of the u.n., the special representative of the european union, the representative of y.c. as well as representatives from french
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countries in mali. these meetings lady lead to a preliminary signing of the presidential elections and included peace talks in mali on june 18. this was agreed to by the arab movement of azowac, another armed group. and the coordination of the movement and the patriotic forces of resistance to a joint tatement issueed the same day. on the preliminary agreement to the presidential elections that included peace talks in mali, the signing parties complitted themselves to a dialogue process to end the crisis in northern mali in two phases. before the elections of the president of the republic and after the elections. before the presidential election, the parties committed to great the security conditions
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required for holding the presidential elections on all the territory of mali, and articularly in kudal region. from this perspective, the agreement provides with conditions on traditional facilities, laid the foundation for a gradual normalization and undermined measures of mplementation of confidence. after the presidential election, the agreement provides that 50 days after lts cancellation, the new government of mali in collaboration with commission for dialogue and reconciliation with the support of the international community will engage peace talks with all community in the north. signing parties as well as signatory armed groups in order
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establish the comprehensive implementation of peace. hese peace talks will focus on institutional organization of mali, in particular the regions of northern of mali, also indicated by some as azowac. of disarmament, -- the ion
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promotion of peace in northern mali. the implementation of the greement of the implementation -- the implementation of an roment of this kind. this region remains marked by assistance of factors including eak presence of government and lack of extortion services as well as a social economy problems and precariousness. interference groups with all
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kinds of cross border terrorist groups. hree terrorist attacks against nigare, taking of oshtosh. these are many facts which show security still remains a challenge in the sahel. the way forward. of course, on these i rely on you, on your contribution. one cannot say we'll find a way forward. only within one organization or one process. we have to share ideas. nevertheless, i will try to give
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some ideas. first i think we have to help mali to successfully hold the presidential election on july 29 . i hope. -- 28. 29 of 8 of 2013. to establish authorities and help institutions find a sustainable solution to repeated rebellion in this region. for more international coorpgs ith financial partners to an improved democratic government toward a stable government. and not only for mali, but for all the countries in the sahel region. for all these countries, we have
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o promote anticipatetive governments likely to consolidate unit and avoid rustration and exclusions. ll the components of the olitical life to promote cooperation, especially the youth, to avoid extremist and terrorist groups. to conclude, i wish to welcome the involvement of the international community, which made it possible, the signing of e preliminary agreement in wadagugdu. this works toward the sustainable peace. i thank you for your presence and your kind attention, and i look forward to your
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reflection to find solutions to our concerns. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you so much, your excellency. we will now open the floor for questions and comments. let me remind you we are both being webcast live, and this morning we're being televised live on the c-span network. so when i recognize you -- and we'll take two or three questions at a time -- please wait for the mike fon to be given to you and make your comments and your questions short so we can get through as much as we can. we have about a little over 45 minutes for this session, and the minister has been very kind to invite your input. so i open the floor.
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right here in front i have the first one and there at the back he second one. >> i'm lawrence freeman from the "review." thank you very much for your comments. i think in terms of the approach, i think you are right. we have to think in terms of the entire sahel. there needs to be a regional approach. i just came back from mali, and i was able to see the inland mali delta. this is an norm yass -- this area has a enormous prodeduction for food development. it could help in segou. i think if we use this as a centerpoint, mali could become a center for food production. if we take a central approach to food production. we need water management. we need more energy than obama
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promised last month. we need rail transportation. and i any we should look at this regional development in the sahel as a way of providing security. because the military counterterrorism approach has failed in these areas in the desert and the sa hairia, the sta hell, where people have no opportunity, no future, and no jobs. i want to hear your comments on this kind of regional effort. >> thank you. let's take one there. >> good evening. i'm from search for common ground. how much of the peace process is usual and how much of it is business as usual in the sahel region and mali, for instance? >> ok. we have one more question down here by mr. smith. >> dane smith, american university. minister, a pleasure to see you again. i wonder if you could tell us a little about progress in the security sector reform, and in
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particular how the reform of the malian military is going. it seems to me that's pretty critical to success in this endeavor. >> ok. thank you. mr. foreign minister, those are the three questions we'll take now. the first on development in a regional sense, food production security. the second on how much of the peace process is new, building on old efforts, and then a specific security sector reform with the malian army. >> thank you. if of course, i do agree, that -- of course i agree that we need an arge approach, especially in the sector of food production. for the peace to be sustainable, definitely, we need to back it by a very strong commitment to develop our region.
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not only within mali, but within ecowas, so that could be a development. but most importantly, i think the people of the north of mali, ould feel themselves part of these national efforts for development. this is what we are all looking for, how to create the feeling of national cohesion. otherwise you can produce whatever you want in the south part of the country, which is very, very rich, but if the arab people, the people in the north are not part of it, that will not work. i agree, and this is part of ecowas policy, how to promote these integrated developments.
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i don't understand the second question. >> i'm not sure i do either, jose. would you take the microphone again and redevelop that question. >> sure. so what i meant is, how much of the new process is actually new in the sense that it is not what has been happening since the malia civil war, cooptation by the leadership of rebel groups. >> you are talking about -- >> the negotiation aspects. >> the negotiations. ok. what we reach now is just an interim agreement. we are looking for more comprehensive agreements. but a traditional government annot establish lasting peace. that's why we are all insisting now to have elections at the end of july so that the new
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authorities can promote an included dialogue and reach a comprehensive agreement. i hope this time it will reach a comprehensive and lasting peace. of course, this is not new that the people in the north raise arms to fight against the central government. on this, if you allow me, we ould find a way to stop this repeated rebellions in the north. this rebellion is the fourth since the independence. what was have seen the consequences of the war against mali, but definitely the
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terrorist groups take over the control of everything. emela at that time lost the control. so we should not start any war knowing that the consequences of these kinds of rebellions will break -- bring terrorist activities and so on. so that's why i think that the international community and all the personnel should focus their efforts that this negotiations be the last one. and for it to be good enough, of course, it has to be serious. eaf netly. on the issue of security, two
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aspects. the first is, in mali, parts of the army let by captain senogal, d'etat.ented a coup an army in our country should ven -- should not interfere in the political process, specially with arms. this is the first thing we have solve, how to keep the army involved, and how to make sure that the army will not interfere with the political governance. so the first reform should aim military people the best training so that they can focus on the task instead of interfering in the political
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process. the second is how to make the army operational, so that if -- so they can fight efficiently against the new form of threat we know in our region, which is he terrorist threat. our armies should focus on the training to stop the terrorist activities. i think that in mali they have started the reform, which is financed by the europeandown union. it is going well. i don't know the precise details, but i think things are improving in mali. >> may i use the prerogative of the chair and follow up on a
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question with one specific. you did mention when you were talking about activities to be undertaken after the elections d.b.r. ing at the exercise, the disarmament and mobile zation. that could mean you are looking at a new army, bringing in some of the rebel forces, the m. l.a. and other forces. this has been done in other jares like burundi. is this an action that will take place? >> i am very cautious talking about the integration of former combatants in the national army. it didn't work in mali. so we have to be cautious. but when we are talking about the d.b.r., and the r. for the
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integration is the social and economic integration, definitely. of course, in the wadagu agreement, the disarmament should be finalized after the signing of the more comprehensive agreement. kantoma. art with combatants,that the all of them, cannot be part of the national army. i know for peace and wreck sill gration, of course we have to do something in this area. but the malians will discuss, of course, we will try to provide good opportunity for them to reconcile themselves, of course,
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to bridge -- and of course, to bridge a new, strong army. i will also, without the participation of the northern people and the northern army, it could be difficult to counter the terrorist activity, because they know more than the south people, the region of the north. but all of these issues will be discussed within the comprehensive talks. >> understood. we have one right in front, ambassador seduku and down here for the next question and back up there for the next question. >> thank you very much. >> the only one who can command and salute assistance of president kagame and
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the issues faced in the region. sometimes we talk, and i see people smile when i mention martial plan for the sahel. and i always ask, we have to in with africans, ecowas particular, and then from there really have our partners support that idea because of the issues you mensed. you cannot have inclusiveness if you don't have the resources to include people. someone said you really need resources. condly, i would say that martial plan would also -- let's give it an african name. i don't know which one, but we have to somehow. i was wondering how much of that conversation are you having at
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your level, at ecowas levels, with our partners, the u.s. and others? thank you very much. >> here. >> my name is mohammed towan. i am here from the library of congress. my question is a little bit far from the question. i want to get back to security issues. i know you have been close with these groups and negotiated with them, and i think you personally know, for example, the leader of senegal. what do you make of the fact that many of the southern leaders are part of the current peace process? and my second question, also, is the y do you think
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act that we kind of cornered but have not captured this terrorist leader? how do you think that will be involved in the peace process? thank you. >> thank you. my concern is about -- >> i am from burkina faso. my question is about the combined of clashes that can lead to this type of crisis. does mali have a specific code? yes. na, we have a lack of options, a quarter of
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centering of power, the implementation of bukina -- rnment in south africa implementation of burkina faso government in south africa. members of the government looking for the gold in burkina aso. and djibrill bassole knows what i am talking about. my question is, how can we talk about the peace process knowing the struggle against corruption, the lack of governance is open to many kinds of situations like in mali? thanks. >> thank you very much. the three questions we will talk about we will call the wagadugu plan, in other words, the
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bringing to bear the national resources on the plan, and the second on mohammed sadin, and when people go on the terrorist list, how do you deal with them? and then the issue about burkina faso's role in legitimacy in this context. >> good. >> i agree, there needs to be a plan. but for there to be a good plan, we need to prepare our people for that. we have been talking about the promasso. this means there was something -- reconstruction means there
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was something before which has been destroyed by war. secondly, you know this issue better than i do, there is no organization, no good organization. we need more than the pormashal, my brother. we need, first of all, to promote, as i have said, the national cohesion in all our countries. there needs to be dialogue in all our communities. secondly, we need our financial and technical partners to help us. one country cannot immediate the expectation of the people in sahel. e have to combine our efforts.
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-- secondly,hammed a this will focus more attention sahel.issue of i understand, my brother, the issue you want to raise. yadel galin is the arab movement and some of the terrorist group. he was involved, of course, in the wagadu discussions last year. unfortunately the attack
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launched by the extremist group was at a certain point led by yadel gali. now he disappears. i don't know exactly where he is. what i want to emphasize here is the need for groups, the nonterrorist armed movement, to defense themselves -- to separate themselves from the terrorist activities if they want to make peace with mali and all the countries of ecowas. we didn't want the twilight group to be divided. hat's why we didn't want the we didn't- that's why
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want this in the talks, even though we know yadel gadin is close to and in the terrorist groups. they continue to be part of a normal process of unification. so let's go with them. and that's why i am insisting on taking our people from the terrorist activities. they will still have this complicity with outside groups. i think hat's the -- hat was a movement of islamic. they combined their efforts so that we discuss with one entity. in addition to that, the arab
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atu s m.r.r. and all the defrance groups, they joined this agreement. we are now making this agreement with nonterrorist armed groups n the northern region of mali. i understand your question. thank you very much. and it will be a national debate. [laughter] >> thank you. ok. we'll take another round of questions. the firsthand i see is right here. ali, thank you. and then down in front here and in front here. >> good morning. i am amura woods here at the institute for policy studies. and c-span steve
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for covering this. we encourage you to cover more on africa. i get back first to your question. if you could give us a sense of the refugee crisis and the international response to the refugee crisis. the second question is on the security sector. you mentioned getting the best training for the military. i guess i wonder if there is critique within ecowas, within the region, particularly the u.s. initiative focused on counterterrorism that will captain senegal and his cohorts participated in in the last decade? is there a critique of the strategy in because that for any of us is the core of the issue.
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>> second row. >> my name is gila gardi. i am the president of the in washington, d.c. - the burkina faso -- in washington, d.c. my question is very simple. can you complete comment on the government with regard to the ecowas and what is the thinking of the government. thank you very much. >> thank you very much. >> thank you very much. i am from the embassy of nigera. without repeating the master
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plan, i think djibrill bassole is very right, this is at the core of the problems. at the core of all these problems is the issue of poverty, climate change, and all those issues that remain to get sahel in trouble. i think african leaders, particularly ecowas, has the responsibility to address that. if we don't address that, we leave that to be filled by terrorists. that's exactly what has happened. all of us are related one way or the other, through economic, historical, and social directions. these problems will continue to -- to nigeria if we don't address this. there was a small economic
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assistant problem. they are assisting those countries in moratania, development projects. even at that level. and so i think the ambassador of niger is right. this should be at the top of the agenda in africa. we must address our own problems. we cannot continue to rely on other partners. if you look at -- like larry rightly pointed out, counterterrorism is felt every time we have problems, there is a quick to rush in arms, heavy military equipment, but they leave the problems to remain with us. so the fundamental issue is to address the economic problem. the greater economic issue is the key issue. unless we address that, we will continue to have more chad and
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all this conflict will continue to remain endemic in the country. thank you. >> thank you. first address the refugee question and secondly the question on military training. i would agree with that. certainly the west is, through the work we have done through africom and the transahil work does not seem to have the right kind of training for africa. so what should be done there? long's fassel question, and then the further discussion on the plan. >> on the refugees, now i think niger 00 people from fled away. niger, burkina faso, nigeria, and i think some from
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mauritania. of course we host them, but we need to bring them back home. we need to create a conducive environment so they can go back. unfortunately, these refugees will not be able to vote within mali. this is unfortunate. i may say that. -- it would have been better to get them back home. but since they are part of it, we continue with -- we can deal with it. i would like to address my gratitude to the international partners. really, they support our effort. you know that at the time they enter in burkina faso we were facing a food crisis. despite all these difficulties, we managed to take care of them with the support of course of
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our partners. there is a really good spirit of solidarity, i may say, on their -- thee agreement implementation of this agreement -- will allow all of them to go .ack home very soon, i hope on the training, only two aspects. the first aspect is the speed. -- is the spirit. a good army should have a good spirit. as we say, a republican spirit. the group should not be allowed to make coup d'état, of course. [laughter]
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-- to train our young officers on that. -- sanogo, heoco implemented what he committed four. aprild the agreement on 6. sanogo, advocating for of course. as far as mediation is concerned, i have to tell the truth. there is no obstacle, from the side of the gentile -- the junta, regarding the electoral process. -- minister inr
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charge of the interior is a member of the junta. and he is performing very well. who is doing one everything so that on july 28, these elections in mali will be possible. weof course, of course, should now avoid any kind of conflictual situation between the army and the political leaders. we have to clarify things. everybody should play its own role harper lee. that should be really clear. that should play its own role properly. that should be really clear. you are talking about the next
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meeting in france. i am not comfortable saying that we will create a west african army in paris. we will talk about, in general terms -- we will talk about how we can increase security in the region of sahel. -- howation of the army we want to defend our territory -- this is really the question of sovereignty. echo wass --ead of i think the head of [indiscernible] should find a way to do what the french did for us. government french
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reacted promptly and positively. it should be our own army. , it is almost impossible. that is why i think we need to call for international cooperation. we need to call our friends, united states, to help us, rightg in place the armies, disciplined armies. good intelligence so that they can protect us from terrorist activities. we will be part of it, of course. --er sahel companies countries will be part of this paris meeting in december. probably, we will talk about
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bilateral and multilateral cooperation's among the international partners. may i, before you go to the last question -- comments by our nigerian colleague. is there not already a mechanism, at least in principle, in the african union, in terms of rapid response forces -- is that something you can build on in this case? -- is, the african union may say that. they are working on it. they say this is true. but the problem is the same. to not have the capacity to equip this standby force at the moment. what we have to think about it.
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we have to think seriously about we, in the sahel region, have our normal partners -- canria, morocco -- how we create this kind of standby force in africa. i agree poverty is not the only but is part of the root causes of this security situation in sahel. having said that, what should we do? , that we should not wait for the western thetries to make development for our country and our regions.
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we should first do something. and that is why i think that african countries, especially ecowas and north africa, should come together with this true plan of development. the problems are so complex -- we threats are so high -- cannot, without the participation of the international community -- we cannot properly address these issues, i agree. but we need something. we need to do something first before asking others to help us. , the ambassador is right. we need a plan.
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we need a plan. we need a marshall plan -- we martielle. let us create conducive environments. governance, peace, internal cohesion, before talking about sustainable development. >> i think we have time for another round of questions. >> thank you for allowing me to myself. i want to come back to the question of the legitimacy of
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ouagadougou. we know that burkina faso was involved in the civil wars in sierra leone and liberia. those wars, in the eyes of billions of africans, virginia five so does not have the legitimacy to talk about legitimacy in africa. haverkina faso does not legitimacy to talk about legitimacy in africa. when you lose somebody dear to you, that gives you a shape. africans, we believe there was someone sincere in what he wanted to do for africa. if the new leadership cannot at least ring stability -- you brought that to burkina faso. so be it.
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after his death, we see that spain is the leading nation today, trying to promote solar power. air is more sun in burkina faso there is more sun in burkina faso than in spain. what have you done in 26 years? that is the question. >> thank you very much. next question. >> my name is abdel maliki, and i am from the global civil initiative. my question is simple. i do not think we should be in this room, talking about this situation. people involved in the african situation saw this coming 5, 10 years ago. mr. prime minister, what can we
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do to not get ourselves no more in this situation in the region, four burkina faso, for mali, the wayivory coast, all to nigeria. we sought this situation coming again. and everyone is learning from what happened in torn ozzie -- from what happened, thinking they can do it again in countries like benin and togo. what is the plan from our governments in those regions to stop that happening again? how can we avoid it? let us think about the better future for our region, and for africa. >> such a simple question. i wasquestion is, wondering if you could comment on how successful you think the
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elections are going to be at the end of the month, given the issues with voter i.d. cards and refugees. >> mr. foreign minister, i will let you handle the first question, if you will. there is a developmental issue that brings up. the lessons learned -- that is important. and what about the elections? what do you think is going to happen? first question is not really a question. i took note of what you have said. we are in a free exchange of ideas. i thank you very much. mali'stalking about sahel, and the stability of other regions. thank you for your remarks. , ithe overall situation
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think we are now trying, as burkina faso, to build a road to peace and stability in all the neighboring countries. to stop whattion happened in mali to happen again -- this is a problem, and this is why we are here, trying to exchange ideas. that you raised the issue like this. it is our responsibility to do something. we have been talking in mali about the coup d'état. an armed group activities in the north. these threats bring us to where we are now. sensitize our
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people, and the youth, for not making use of violence to post their demands. this is the first thing i think. , ashe northern part of mali they are the force in this region. did the same. fortunately for niger, i think they managed to solve the problem, to integrate all the armed groups properly, to make peace and reconciliation. i think that today, the prime i am not saying he is a formal rebel -- a former rebel. [laughter] that means clearly that they
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finally achieved good integration and reconciliation in niger. we hope the same can happen in mali. i think that our countries should focus efforts on this. we should be united. we should be strong enough. , despiteould be stable all that we faced in the past. despite all the critical and political situations, we have to preserve the stability and the internal cohesion. and finally, we need to think about prevention. ecowasourse, as the mediation, we tried to solve the problem of the crisis in mali. thank god we managed to bring peace.
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we managed to reach an , inement in mali, in niger the ivory coast, in togo. but this is the physician after the death. now, we need a strong policy of prevention. i have said the youth program, of course. that the heads of state will react in the same way, how we can prevent all this to happen again. on the elections, you are right. i was in favor of delaying the elections in mali for two reasons. first, we are now in the rainy season.
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and for those in north africa, the rainy season -- first of all, for people to go to the polling station, especially in rural areas. and second, because of the to go to farm. they do not have time. even one day is really important to them. they do not have time to go to the elections. the second reason is ramadan. with a country with 90% of muslims, of course, this is a problem. the participation will not be very, very high. to delayquestion is -- for what? and i think it is better to have
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to getlections on time, from them a legitimate president and government, so that they can take care of the issue of mali, the issue of security and the issue of socioeconomic development, the issue of reconciliation. , there is anically need to do something, they can but it should be a consensus among all the people. otherwise, if the government of junta,he presidential takes now the decision to delay, certainly, that will create more difficulties. ist i can ask for international community support the malians to get these
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elections on time. to make have two weeks it perfect. [laughter] and it is likely that we will go for a second round, i think, with 28 candidates. i am not sure. it is likely that we go for a second round of elections. so, let us do everything we can so that the first round and the second round be as perfect as we can, for the stability of the country. >> i think the question was partly on the technical preparations for the elections, because it seems registration problems have popped up on the cards. are those going on well enough to meet the deadline? >> yes. since the government of mali
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itself is saying that everything is ok. [laughter] >> fair enough. i think we have time for two more questions. the first hand is here. the second is back there. and we will give you a chance, ambassador. we will take three questions. >> i am from new york city. is known that all of the weapons that people used in the north of mali came from libya. come from libya. after they ran from other countries, they went back over there again, south libya. what, at your level, and ecowas level, what do you have planned to prevent those people from coming back to attack the very next target, which is niger?
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that is my first question. >> stay with one question. we do not have time. >> it is about education. it is very important. >> ok. >> the second part is how to prevent this type of violence cycle. we know that the main core of the problem is education. people are not educated. when you are not educated, and when you are angry, you need food, you are available for any kind of problem that people may bring to you. you may notmes, agree with it, but because you need to eat, you agree with it. young people who do not have any job would do that. what do you have planned for that, to educate africans? >> thank you very much. second to last question. >> thank you for being here.
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i am from the united states african development foundation. little bit -- maybe a following question to the gentleman before me. he mentioned libya. you spoke a lot about ecowas. ineria has a larger border this conflict area. and there are slightly different approaches to the conflict and mediation efforts. they are also heavily affected by [indiscernible] i am curious about the role and engagement of those governments. >> ambassador, you get the last question. >> thank you, mr. minister. , my i asked for the floor
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contribution is not really a question. let us say, a contribution. i just wanted to say that in [speaking usually say french] i do not know how to translate that. i asked my brother from niger to help me. we did not succeed. why am i saying that? iam saying that because remember when it broke out in our region, near the northern part of mali, we were all upset. we were ending the crisis in the ivory coast. that now the crisis was behind us. we were going to address
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ourselves to the issue of development. broke out in the brother country of mali. --president, what tyra ouatara, who was at the time the head of ecowas, and the head -- thatovernment crisis. burkina faso president, who had been elected, i told myself [speaking french] if he has succeeded to bring peace in togo. andwhy we were very upset not doing well -- not knowing
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where the solution in the ivory coast would come from, we have been able to contribute to bringing peace in my country. when he has been designated that he is going to address the issue in mali, i say, for sure, the president will help bring the people to peace and stability. and for sure that is what is happening. now that this opportunity has been given to me, i cannot let it go without mentioning that we in the ivory coast were very thankful to burkina faso for having helped us come back to peace. the ivory coast used to be a country of peace, stability, prosperity, and development. ,r. minister, before concluding when you are working hard in our
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the ambassador of the -- we arentries here very worried about the security issue. most of the time, we say that betweenon is caught the hammer and a nail. ]speaking french between the hammer. i mean there is the issue in the gulf of guinea. i know we are recently meeting to address the issue.
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i also have preoccupation with that issue. these issues should be addressed together in order to make our region safe again, a region of prosperity and development. the republic of niger, which have stressed the issue of plan martial. thank you very much. the firstrobably, questions can be handled together -- about the role of libya, the people coming from the north. how are you dealing with that? and then the issue of education. ,> let us say, on the people the armed movement, the groups
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coming from libya -- of course, we all know what happened there, and what created this situation. we should help the new libyan authorities to put things in order in their country. becauset that easy, the former regime of gaddafi has really formed and equipped militias, militias made up with all of these people coming from niger and mali. having been defeated in their country, libya, some of them came to the northern part of
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, so that can have their own country, their own space. it did not work, of course. and it seems that you are right. they went back home. i think the most important key is to develop this kind of cooperation with the libyan authorities. it is not that easy to do. but as ecowas, we think this regional organization, the new we need to support security cooperation.
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and with the countries algeria, we involveothers -- them in the process, the peace process. as well as the implementation process. they are part of all of the implementation mechanisms ouagadougouhe agreement. toer this trip, i plan to go talk about the agreement and the next steps. now, [speaking french] thank you very much, ambassador. i really appreciate what you have said, and thank you for these kind words. the only thing i want to correct oicn my capacity of
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special envoy, we should not talk about jihadist and islamists. talk about terrorists and criminal groups. you know the jihad is something promoting the jihad, but this group should not be called a jihadist group. this is one of our policies at oic. wean islamic organization, should be involved in finding the way to solve properly this kind of problem. all these groups who are acting on behalf of islam -- this is not good for islam, of course, for the muslim people. that is why the oic member states now are finding the way
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to help solving the problem. to represent the secretary-general of the oic. we will focus on this specific how to separate this group from the religion of islam. it is very important. some people, even now, in west africa, are making the decision -- terrorist or islam. and very very negative bad message. i want the only thing to take the opportunity to correct. is not terrorist activity. the true islam is beyond all this.
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the true islam is promoting reconciliation and peace and brotherhood. >> before we close -- we thank the foreign minister. i want to remark that this has been an amazingly rich session and discussion. i have really been pleased by this. i think looking at issues like to fact that you do not get a sustainable peace without addressing core causes of the conflict and looking at education, climate change, and poverty. , of course,tarts with doing this at home. that also, what his excellency has said to us about international responsibility. our dinners like the united states to be of assistance, but it is encouraging to see you taking such a strong lead on the peace settlement and good governance, addressing these
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core causes of conflict. tohas been a pleasure for us host you. we like the message you sent. we absolutely agree that we have to learn, because this is a problem in the united dates as well, the idea that terrorism and islam are the same thing. this needs badly to be learned by american citizens, as well as the world over. thank you again. [laughter] -- [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
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>> if you missed any of this discussion, you can see it in its entirety. go to our website and check the online video library. homeland security secretary janet napolitano is resigning to head the university of california system. she is the third person to leave the 10-year-old department. she told staff today she will be leaving for california. she will become the president of the system that includes ucla and berkeley. here is what president obama had to say about the resignation. "i want to thank secretary
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napolitano for her outstanding work on behalf of the american people." the president goes on to wish her the best of luck as she changes careers from homeland security to leading the university of california system. absolutely vital that we identify our enemy correctly. very, very hard to find someone you do not identify correctly. and these attacks on our homeland, and others such as the 2005 london bombing, have been connected by a common motivation and a singular purpose. the underwear bomber, the times square attempt, the tsarnaev brothers, and others were all committed to the jihadist goal of islamic domination, and the murder of free and innocent people who they regard as infidels in order to accomplish
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that goal. >> let me speak about social media, the old adage that you cannot establish a relationship during a crisis. we have significant presence on social media. we have engaged not only in a one-way communication, what in a dialogue with the community. we were able to use social media effectively in the minutes after the blast to inform people where they could go, where they could meet loved ones. there was an enormous amount of upset in the community. we used social media to tamp that down. >> the house and senate homeland security committees look at the boston marathon bombings, saturday at 10:00 a.m. eastern. questions, is college worth it? and on american history tv, lectures on history -- roosevelt, wilson, and the u.s. marines fight the banana wars.
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sunday at 1:00. >> i needed politics, business, entertainment, food, finance, art. also was interested in this recurring pattern, which you see with gingrich, with oprah, with jay-z, with sam walton -- people who begin in humble places and are not unlike the main characters, but who sort of reinvent themselves as something new, and find a new language and a new idea that is riveting to americans. through that, they build an empire, and they cannot stop building it. it is almost an imperative, like a corporation.
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as a person, as a brand, you have to keep growing. eventually, a sort of evidence sets in, where the language becomes a. the of itself, and they no longer seem to be producing something good. gingrich keeps writing book after book. opera is on the cover of every issue of her magazine. they become the celebrities we are now familiar with. ,hey dominate our imaginations and in a way have come to replace the institutions that have faltered. intertwines the struggles of three americans whose american way of life has failed them, sunday at 8:00. click senate majority leader harry reid says he has the 51 votes needed to change senate rules on the filibuster. democrats say republicans are using the filibuster to block many obama nominees, because
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republicans say they will block all movement in the senate if it is passed. the heritage foundation is hosting a discussion on the impact of that tactic. senator filed motions yesterday to force the vote to let several nominations move forward -- among them, richard cordray to head the consumer financial protection bureau, thomas perez for labor secretary, regina mccarthy for epa administrator, and fred hochberg to lead the export- import bank. at the end of august, the board chairman's term expires, and they will no longer have the core of needed to collect business. among the nominees are the current board chair. s requested aican meeting. senator harry reid will speak
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monday morning at the center for american progress about the potential changes in senate rules. we will have live coverage beginning at 10:30 eastern. here is what the democratic senator said yesterday about the fight. >> madam president, i moved to proceed to executive session. >> is there objection? the question is on the motion to proceed. all those in favor, say aye. all those opposed, say no. the ayes have it. quick senate cloture motion. >> the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report the nominations. >> bureau of consumer financial protection, richard cordray of ohio to be director. report theill cloture motion. >> we the undersigned senators hereby move to bring to a close debate on the nomination of
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richard cordray of ohio to be director of the bureau of consumer financial protection, signed by 18 senators, as follows. the names.t read >> is there objection? without objection. >> i moved to proceed to legislative session. aye.l those in favor, say all those opposed, say no. the ayes have it. the motion is agreed to. >> sorry to interrupt you. i proceed to the next session. >> the question is on the motion to proceed. all those in favor? all those opposed? the ayes have it. the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report the nomination. >> nomination, national labor relations board, richard f
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griffin junior, of the district of columbia, to be a member. -- motion.e margin >> in accordance with rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate. of a memberation of the labor relations board, signed by 17 senators, as followed. >> i motion that reading the names be waived. i moved to proceed. >> all those in favor? all those opposed? the motion is agreed to. the question is on the motion to proceed. all those in favor? all those opposed? .he ayes have it the motion is agreed to.
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the clerk will report the nomination. >> nomination, national labor relations board, sharon block of the district of columbia to be a member. >> i have a cloture motion. to a hereby move to bring close the debate on the nomination of sharon block of the district of columbia to be a member of the national labor relations board, signed by 17 senators as followed. >> i asked the reading be waived. >> without objection. >> i now move to proceed to legislative session. >> the question is on the motion. all those in favor? all those opposed? the motion is agreed to. >> i moved to proceed to executive session. >> the question is on the
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motion to proceed. all those in favor? all those opposed? the ayes appear to have it. the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report the nominations. >> nominations, national labor relations board. >> i have a cloture motion. i would ask the clerk to report it, if the chair agrees. >> we the undersigned senators, and provisions with rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate move to bring to a close the debate on the nomination of mark gaston to be a member of the labor relations board, signed by 17 senators. >> can the reading of the names be waived? >> without objection. the comment under rule 22 of the senate be waived. >> without objection. >> i moved to proceed to legislative session.
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>> all those in favor, say i've. all those opposed, say no. to.motion is agreed >> i moved to proceed to executive session. >> the question is on the motion to proceed. all those in favor, say i've. all those opposed, say no. the ayes appear to have it. the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report the nominations. >> fred p hochberg, new york homage to be president. >> there is a cloture motion at the desk. >> the clerk will record the motion. >> we the undersigned senators, in accordance with rule 22, moved to bring to a close the -- thef the motion debate on the motion, signed by 17 senators, as follows. >> the reading of the names is
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not necessary. >> is there objection? >> without objection. >> i asked that appointment rule 22 be waived. >> without objection. >> i now move to proceed to legislative session. >> all those in favor? all those opposed? ayes appear to have it. the motion is agreed to. >> i moved to proceed to executive session. >> the question is on the motion to proceed. all those in favor? all those opposed? the ayes appear to have it. the clerk will report the nomination. >> nomination, department of labor, thomas edward perez of maryland to be secretary. >> i sent a cloture margin to the desk. >> with the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provision of rules 22, owing to a close the debate on the
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nomination to be secretary of labor, signed by 17 senators, as follows. >> i ask consent to read the names be waived. >> without objection. >> i asked that rule 22 be waived. >> without objection. >> i move to receipt to legislative session. >> all those in favor? all those opposed? the motion is agreed to. >> i now move to proceed to executive session. >> all those in favor? all those opposed? the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report the nomination. >> nomination, environmental protection agency. >> i sent a cloture motion to the desk.
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>> we the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of the standing rules of the senate, moved to bring to a close the debate on the nomination of regina mccarthy of massachusetts to be administrator of the environmental protection agency, signed by as follows. , harper, dryden, baucas, durbin, , and others., shaw >> without objection. >> move to proceed to legislative session. >> all those in favor? all those opposed? .> the ayes appear to have it the motion is agreed. --madame president >> republican leader.
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that i thinkonsent would set up these votes in a much more expeditious way down the way the majority leader is proceeding. but first, let me just say these are dark days in the history of the senate. i hate that we have come to this point. we have witnessed a majority leader break his word to the united states senate. request for a joint meeting of all the senators, set for monday night, a time when attendance around here is frequently quite spotty, in an obvious effort to keep as many of his members from hearing the concerns and arguments of the other side as possible. it remains our view that for this to be the kind of joint session of the senate that it ought to be, given the tendency of the senate to have sparse
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attendance on monday night, to have this meeting on tuesday, before it is too late. , and mored that expeditious way to accomplish most of what the majority leader is trying to accomplish would be achieved by the following concept. that onanimous consent tuesday at 2:15, the senate proceed to consecutive votes on the confirmation of the following nominations. that is to be a member of the nlrb, 102, ms. zamora. 103, parenthetically, if those were confirmed, coupled with those
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illegally appointed, whose illegal appointments continued until the end of the year, there would be a full complement of five members, and able to conduct its business. following those votes, the senate could proceed to the cloture motion for the secretary of labor. immediatelyould proceed to a vote on the confirmation of the nomination. 30t would eliminate the hours, assuming cloture were invoked, on the very controversial nominee, perez, to be secretary of labor. further, the motion filed on mccarthy to be epa director. if cloture is invoked, the senate proceed to vote on the confirmation of the nomination. also, eliminating the 30 hours post-cloture, if cloture is
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invoked, on mccarthy. and i might add that the ranking member of the environment onmittee supports cloture the mccarthy nomination. thereby, it is reasonable to assume that cloture would be invoked. on what is, for a lot of our, including myself, a very controversial nomination. i further ask that the senate then vote on the cloture motion filed on number 178. if cloture is invoked, we could eliminate the 30 hours, assuming cloture is invoked, and i assume it will be. finally, i ask consent that the senate willtes --
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vote on the remaining three filed cloture motions. before the chair rules, what this allows is for the senate to work officially, through a series of nominations, in a quicker fashion than the majority leader has proposed. they would get their votes, and there would not be a delay. this would leave discussion" on the three remaining illegally, according to the federal courts -- the three remaining illegally appointed nominations. mr. president, that is my consent. >> majority leader? >> no matter how often my friend rudely talks about me breaking my word, i am not going to respond about how many times he has broken his word. he can keep saying it as much as he wants. all we have to do is look back at the record.
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as for monday night, my members will be here. i do not understand, unless this is part of the overall pattern we have come to expect around here, to not do anything today you can do tomorrow. , we are going to have a vote at 5:30. numbers are usually pretty good at getting here for votes at 5:30. am stunned by boasting about the 19 number of saying hee suddenly is going to allow mccarthy to get a vote. isn't that something to cheer about? he is responsible for 1100 questions to this woman. that is what is wrong here. so transparent, what my
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friend has asked. he has said he wants to approve the two republican members of the nlrb. let us have votes on those first. and only one democratic nominee. what does this mean? it means within a couple of months, the republicans have a majority. i do not blame them for wanting that. they do not like the organization anyway. so i can understand that the republicans would like to get consent to create a republican majority in the nlrb. is so obvious. i object. >> the objection is heard. >> we are going to have a caucus on monday at 6:00 in the senate chamber. we will have a vote at 5:30. i would hope that for something this important, we will have attendance. i know my caucus will be there. if nothing is resolved there,
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which the way things are going today, likely it will not be -- we will have a vote sometime early tuesday morning on these nominees. >> mr. president, they majority leader always reminds me he can have the last word, and i am sure he will have the last word again. heaking for senator victor, did ask for a lot of information from the new prospective director of the epa. so did senator boxer. she asked for 70,000 pages herself. but he was satisfied with the responses he got. this is how the process ought to work. this is how it has worked for decades. you try to get answers to questions. you try to engage in some kind of prediction as to how somebody might operate in the future. what the majority leader has been saying all along is, he wants the confirmation process thee speedy, and for
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minority to sit down and shut up. he believes that advise and consent means sit down and shut up. confirm these nominees when i tell you to. now, the reason he is taking a lot of heat over this is because he has broken his word to the united states senate, given last january, that we had resolved the rules issue for this congress. even know for a fact, though he may get his 51 votes, there are a lot of democrats who are not happy with where you are. and they tell me that. the republican i expect they would be least likely to want to tell that too. i know what is going on here. they have been hammered into line. this has been personalized by the majority leader. you got to do this for me.
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here is,is astonishing you are saying you have to do this for me, as you have to help me break my word, go back on everything i said in my own biography just a few years ago. you have to help me look bad. you have to help me break my word, violate what i said in my creategraphy, unnecessary controversy in the united states senate, which has done major bills on a bipartisan basis all year long, and have begun to get back to normal this is why my members are astonished. they are scratching their heads. who manufactured this crisis? weknow who did it very -- know who did it. the guy on my left. this is a sad day for the u.s. senate.
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if we did not pull back from the brink, the majority leader will be remembered as the worst winter ever. -- worst leader of the senate ever. the leader of the senate who changed the body. theundamentally changed body. it makes me sad. all of my members are angry, i am more sad about it. to this. i hope democratic senators are monday night. encouragenly going to my members to be there. if we sat down and try to understand each other, many members on the other side are hearing a different version from the fax. it is a largely -- it is largely unrelated to reality. i note my friend the majority leader will have the last word. the difference between being a majority leader and a minority leader is that he gets the last word. i will yield the floor and listen to the last word.
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majorityesident, the leader. >> no matter how many times he says that, he tends to not focus on what he hasn't to the senate. done to thehe has senate. as i indicated earlier, there is lots of time. for name-calling. we know it is replaying the record how he said that there would be no filibusters, only extra. -- we follow the norms of the senate and followingcircumstances -- only extraordinary circumstances. i guess because we are in session. the only person i know who thinks things are going fine here is my friend. the american people know the institution is being hammered hard. he does not have to worry about me rick i have not taken any have to worry about me, i have not taken any heat. i had a very nice caucus today.
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it was very thoughtful. we heard from out of my 54 senators, we have heard form -- from either 2425. -- 25 for 26 of them. the attendance was not perfect. the attendance was nearly perfect. mr. president, i do not went in to feel sorry for the senate, certainly not for me eric -- for me. i will continue to speak in a tone that is appropriate. i guess it follows a demagogue theory that the more you say something, it is also. false and people start believing it. mr. president, it is interesting that he thinks that richard cartwright, who no one says there is anything wrong with this man. both parties say he is a good guy. he has been waiting for seven to-- four 724 days. this is the secretary of
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defense, 292 days. -- the assistant secretary of defense, 292 days. monetary governor, 169 days. nlrb, 573 days. epa, 128 days. we have 15 of the mondaythe average time winning is nine months. mr. president, as far as reshuffling the votes, he wants to have the majority of this nlrb to the republicans. i do not think that is a good idea. we are going to have a caucus monday. before,ried to had them and i found him addicted to them. -- and my friend has objected to them. we will have this one andi'm happy to do that. my friends of the process works. the process works? the status quo is good? i don't think so. >> mr. president, republican
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leader. >> the nlrb is not republicans. i mentioned to the administration on several occasions to send us up two nominees who are not illegally appointed. we cannot seem to get that done. two --k attached to the the taint attached to the two nlrb nominees and to mr. cordrey is that they were illegally appointed. the agencies have not been at a disadvantage. they are waiting. he is not waiting to do the job, he is in office. the question is -- do we respect the law? a federal court has said that two nlrb members were illegally appointed. on cordrey was appointed
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exactly the same day in exactly the same way. is it the senate completely lawless? do we not care what the federal courts say? i am just stunned at what radar. -- at where we are. it's pretty clear to me thatall of the other nominees are likely to be confirmed. what it comes down to is the majority leader is owing to -- is going to break the rules of the senate to change the rules of the senate in order to confirm the 51 votes, three illegally appointed positions. us federal courts and told there unconstitutionally appointed. that is the rationale for the option. read -- for the nuclear option. that is why i say it is a sad day for the senate. also a sad day for america.
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>> the majority leader. >> illegally appointed. why did president obama recess appoint mr. cordrey and other members? we count cordrey as 571 days. because republicans have blocked them. that went on long before he got there. elizabeth warren set up the program. they said no chance. they said don't blink of thing in her ear. that is the reason they came up with core drug. these are cadel tears -- you have reason supplements because the president had no choice if he wanted the team to work. he said they would be happy to present them weekly. -- to process them quickly.
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just like richard perez been processed quickly and all these people have been processed quickly. sorry, mr. president. there is not a chance we will let the nlrb nominate republicans. -- be dominated by republicans. the law should not be dominated by republicans, and will not be. i repeat --this could be resolved quickly print i have someone -- this can be resolved quickly. you get cloture and everybody? there is no problem andthey can all vote against these people, but on procedural basis, they are holding out votes on people who are more qualified. and would be approved by the senate. this is strange. talk about marshaling your troops to do something wrong, it is that. if they are so worried about the rules changing, they should approve three qualified people.
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no one suggests there's anything wrong with any of them. there were reported because the republicans forced president obama to do that. there will be note -- there will be no further votes. the next vote is monday at 5:30 p.m.. avoidm trying to laughter. on the issue of delay. the two nlrb nominees were sent to the senate on december 15, 2011. before the paperwork on here, two weeks later the president recessed appointed them. delay? the paperwork had not even arrived. the committee could not do anything with them. a couple of weeks later, they were recess appointed. that is not my definition of a delay. by any objective standards. the court issue is -- he is prepared to break the rules of
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the senate to change the rules of the senate for three nominees who were unconstitutionally appointed according to the federal circuit court in washington dc. for that, the majority leader proposes to use the nuclear option? it is a sad day and commentary on today's senate. >> the majority leader. >> the senate crated by the republicans -- this role change, he gives talking about a rule change. the constitution is clear there is one paragraph that says that trees take two thirds of a vote. -- treaties take 2/3 ofin the
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same paragraph, how many votes does it take to confirm a nomination? a simplemajority. that is in the constitution. since 1977, rules of changed 17 times. themy fancy things done by committee, but in the senate. we have three people who are qualified. a republicans want to avoid problem, what they want to do is continue. can you imagine the american people are looking at this and saying that they think the senate is going just fine. this goes -- the status quo is good? look at the gallup poll. 80% -- 86% of the american people think the senate is bad is because they are not doing
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important things. and we were able to get a few things done but i have been here a while. we have done good things assure. we should be doing lots of good things. not focus on immigration, a farm bill, a postal bill. we talk about word. i am glad we got that done. going to demonstrate my friend the chairman of that committee. mr. president, that built is a former self. what the republicans have done to make a mockery of what goes on here. all we want is for the president of the united states, democrat or republican, to be documented. that is not asking too much. >> yesterday, senators have gone home for the weekend and monday, majority leader harry reid lot more to say about a potential
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filibuster rule changes. . it will cause the opposition party to block legislation as a result of the rule changes. we will have live coverage of his comments at the center for american progress monday morning starting at 10:30 eastern. today, we will let live coverage of the former senate parliamentarian and the council for republican senator rand paul talk about the -- impact of changes in the filibuster rules at 12:30 eastern. more now from the senate floor about the proposal to change senate rules. have been listening carefully to the debate happening here on the floor. the esteemed minority leader had a couple of phrases that he used any number of times. one of web -- one of those was that this debate was about breaking the rules in order to change the rules. the second phrase also involving
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the word break was repeatedly to say to the majority leader that you have broken your word. those are very powerful words. my mother always told me that when people started saying words like that, they are at a loss for a real argument but i found and disturbing. i found both of these phrases disturbing. i find them disturbing because they are so at odds with what this conversation is really about. we are here in the midst of a constitutional crisis. our constitution was set up with a balance of powers between three co-equal branches with checks and balances. never in their wildest dreams did the crafters of our constitution envisioned that a majority -- a minority of the -- senate would undermine the
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function of two branches. they were very deliberate in their determination it not be a possibility, but when it came to be other branches, have a de facto branch in the constitution. -- simple majority status in the constitution. they are the same paragraph, you can compare them one to the other. they talked about this because they had an experience in which the super majority had caused all sorts of difficulties. i thought i would remind us a little bit about the framework they laid out in the constitution. alexander hamilton said it would lead to tedious to lays,
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-- delays, continuous negotiations, and contemptible compromises of the good. why alexander hamilton felt so strongly that should be a simple majority standard, he was not a-- alone. he had madison, who wrote the principle of free government would be reversed if a supermajority is a functioning system. -- functioning principle. we have simple majority votes and checks against ill advised nominations by the executive branch. that has been the tradition throughout our nation's history. simple majority votes interspersed by very occasional blockades put up by exercising the will to filibuster. very rare use of that, until the
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last few years. indeed, a few years ago, our republican colleagues were in charge. they were upset by a small number of filibusters by the democrats. on judicial nominees. they came to this floor and said that is not acceptable and they reminded us of this constitutional framework and they asked for a deal. the deal they asked for was, they would not change the rules and democrats would not filibuster the nominations. and yet, we do not see -- the deal was struck. but now, the tide has turned. the parties are reversed and suttee -- suddenly the deal is not holding because we see filibuster after filibuster after filibuster obstruction the ability to enable this -- the executive branch with the president reelected by the citizens of the united states, and vacancies in the judicial branch with judicial emergencies.
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the largest number of executive branch employments piled up, and -- appointments piled up and yet, my colleagues on the other side here are saying, the senate is functioning just fine. about 80% of the american people think the senate is functioning fine. you have to sign recognize, they are just not paying attention. this is not the senate i knew as a young man coming here as an intern sitting up at the staff gallery, coming down to brief him on the amendments debate before each vote. at that time, we had simple up and down votes, with the rare exception. towe turn the clock back lyndon b. johnson, as majority leader, on this floor right here, only once in six years did he need to file a petition
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in order to close debate. that was not just on executive nomination. oft was a combination executive nominations andjudicial nominations, and legislation. once in six years. senator reed, as majority leader, in his first six years, had filed 391 petitions. this petition process is it -- is designed to take a long time, because it was envisioned it would be used so rarely. here we are with a minority of the senate doing deep damage to damage to the judiciary by the abuse of the filibuster, creating an imbalance or creating on equal branches of government completely out of sync with the constitutional vision. are we, as members of this body who have a responsibility, have taken a pledge, going to allow
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for this deep abuse of the constitutional vision of equal branches? i do not think anyone who takes their pledge seriously can come to this floor and argue that a small group of the senate should be able to do deep damage to the other branches. the republican leader noted, he said, the strategy here is to break the rules in order to change the rules. i thought it would just remind him that i believe he came here in 1985, that in that time. , many times, the senate has changed the rules, using a simple majority to change the application of the rule. we did it in september -- december 11, 1985. 1986, twice in 1987. once in 95.
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twice in 1996. in 1999, in the year 2000, in the year 2000 and 11, that is 10 times in the time the republican leader has been a member of the senate. he described this as a nuclear option. under his reasoning, there have been 10 nuclear option bombs exploding in the chamber, in the time he served here. and yet, i did not hear that in the presentation he put forward. the it might interest republican leaders to recall that, where under the standard of the simple majority, the purpose -- the application of a rule had changed, occurred in the time he had served seven times under republican leadership. it occurred three times under
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democratic leadership. seven times under republican leadership, the action we are discussing here of reorienting the application of the rule in order to make the senate work better, three times under democratic leadership. all of these during the time served in the chamber. i come to the floor and talk about breaking the rules in order to change the rules, the republican leader would have to go back and talk about those 10 times and explain how somehow, it does not qualify to the same standard. i think it is important to get away from the over inflation of the rhetoric put forward here. a second piece that bothered me in this debate was to say the majority leader broke his word. i think everyone understands there are two parties to a deal and they need to uphold their
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half. here would remind folks about what republican leaders have the deal was. i put it as a january pledge. this is the pledge made by the republican leader on the floor of this chamber. he said senate republicans will continue to work with the majority to process nominations consistent with the norms and traditions of the senate. traditions? those are the nominations are able to be voted on in a modest amount of time with up-and-down votes. if we should have any doubt about what the republican leader meant, we can go to a republican policy document from 2005. here, we have the last major debate over the abuse of the filibuster. and this is what the republican
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policy argument said. normsreakdown in senate is profound. there is now a risk the senate is creating a new 60 vote confirmation standard. the constitution plainly requires no more than a majority vote to confirm any executive nomination, but some senators have shown they are determined to override this constitutional standard. so, i will stop quoting for a minute and note, a very cleared -- a very asian of a clear delineation of the constitutional standard during the time the republican leader was here in this chamber, 2005, not so many years ago. the document goes on to say, if the senate does not act to restore the constitution's simple majority standard, it could be
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plausibly argued a precedent has been set in a 50 vote threshold for nominations. the document goes on to talk about the role in the constitution of consent. -- of advise and consent. one way the senators can restore the traditional understanding of that is to employ the constitutional option and exercise the senate majorities power of constitution to define the senate practices and procedures. constitutional option in response to judicial filibusters would restore the senate to its long-standing norms and practices. if we want to know what norms and traditions meant on this pledge in january, it is all laid out there in extensive detail in the republican policy document and in the history of united states. a modest amount of time to have a vote after a nomination comes out of committee with a simple
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up or down vote with rare exception. that is not what we have had. i would ask the republican leader to have a discussion about our constitutional role, much like the debate the republicans led in 2005. passinge, we are just aspersions. just casting aspersions. the citizens looking in wonder, what happened to the great deliberative institution, the senate. this standard of processing a nominations according to the norms and traditions of the senate did not materialize after january. within days, there was the first ever in the u.s. history filibuster of a nominee for defense secretary. ironically that nominee was a former republican senator, chuck hagel.
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within a short time after that, we had a letter from 44 senators saying they would not allow a vote on any nominee for the consumer financial protection bureau. any nominee? that is the advice and consent role that calls for a simple up-and-down? they will use a filibuster to oppose any nominee regardless? that is using the filibuster in a whole new way, to basically say, we do not have the votes to undo the financial protection bureau, which, by the way, is charged with stopping predatory practices that undermine the success of families, but, indeed, instead of trying to get rid of this institution that protects families, and i am not sure where family values fit in there, we are instead going to prevent anyone from exercising leadership and being in the directors chair. i will conclude with this.
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speak. let's recognize the deal laid out in january did not work. it did not work. it does not make sense to keep saying, who did not make it work echo certainly, from my perspective, on this side of the aisle, this issue of continuing to work, to processing nominations, did not work. my republican colleagues have a different concept of how it did not work. at the heart, as they a knowledge in 2005, there is a constitutional vision for the use of advice and consent and that constitutional vision is in deep trouble. it is not permission for one coequal branch to undermine the other two branches. that is why members of this body need to have a debate. it is why we need to wrestle with restoring the role of this senate, the proper role in the nomination process.
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thank you, mr. president, and i yield the floor to my colleague. >> senator from alabama? >> we are at a time in the senate and i hate to see it happen. this is a robust body. we defend on the interest of our constituents and try to advocate for the values we share. it is a contentious place. we usually work our way through this. i would just say, there is no reason we should be at this point today. i do believe the majority leader has been abusing the powers of his office. i remain dreadfully concerned and firmly believe this consistent practice of using the tactic of filling the tree
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to keep members of the senate from having a vote is an abuse, maybe even large in the issue we are dealing with today. it is larger. for example,we have been debating the question of student loans, interest rates going up, and how to fix them. they are two different bills. two different ideas. one the majority leader's supports. he brought it up and he wants to vote on it. and he does not want to vote on anything else. what a number of senators on this side, with democratic senators who agreed, in a bipartisan way, have come up with a better bill, i think it is better and we want to vote on it. he has filled a tree, and in the united states senate, on an important issue, and on an
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extremely well thought out all alternative plan that could make the loan issues be fixed, the majority leader says, you do not get a vote. this is a change in the history of the senate and it goes on every day. and senators have to plead with the majority leader to get a vote on an amendment. this is not the way the senate should be and that is a really big deal. it goes on every day. it is time to stop it. now, we have this idea that nominations have to be moved through at the pace a majority leader would like them to be. remarks from the senate floor yesterday and now we go live to the heritage foundation and a former senate parliamentarian discusses the filibuster. >> thank you for joining us via
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spam this afternoon and all of our television viewers are welcome to send in questions by e-mail in us. post the program within 24 hours on our website for your future reference, as well. posting our discussion today is our senior legal follow in legal and judicial studies and merit -- manager of our judicial reform initiative. demand is elections like campaign financing, voter fraud and identification laws and registration issues. before joining us, he served for two years as a member of the federal election commission and has been a counsel to the assistant attorney general for civil rights at the u.s. to park and a justice. is a former litigator, and house counsel, and senior corporate officer as well in the insurance industry. please join me in welcoming my colleague. [applause] you would like to welcome
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to the heritage foundation, particularly all of you who braved the torrential rains overnight to be here in person. about here today to talk the nuclear option. anyone who lives in the real world outside of washington would expect that we would have a panel here of our national- security and foreign-policy experts talk about our missile defense system. in fact, we are here to talk about another subject that was heatedly discussed on the floor of the senate just yesterday between senator harry reid and senator mitch mcconnell. senator reid has said he intends to change the rules of the senate, to end the ability of the minority to filibuster which is a long and hallowed tradition in the senate. what do we think about that? here is what a certain senator said about this not too long ago. the filibuster is not a theme
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and is not new. it is far from a procedural gimmick. it is part of the fabric of this institution we call the senate. it was well known in colonial legislatures before we became a country and it is an integral part of our country's 214 year history. the tours have used this to stand up to presidents. -- senators have used this to stand up to president. the roots of the filibuster are in the constitution and in our own rules for there is no way that i would employ or use a nuclear option. in it would ruin our country. in fact, breaking the rules to change the rules is on american." senator harry reid said that back in 2005. to do his oneduled american act for a vote on monday in the old senate chamber and then a vote on tuesday. why is there a debate about this in the old senate chamber?
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the old senate chamber does not have television coverage. c-span viewers will not be able to watch and there will be no gallery where the public can see what is going on in the debate. by the way, then senator obama said that if the senate broke the rules to change the rules " of fighting, the bitterness, and the gridlock would only get worse." unlike many of the president's other announcements, he certainly is correct about this one. i also want to give you quotes from another couple of people. senator bill nelson from florida said "we must encourage compromise to change the rules in the middle of the game bordering on abuse of power. surely, the senator can rise above this partisan politics and come together for the sake of the nation." johnson,enator, tim democrat of south dakota pointed
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out the reason why this is a good rule. the of the consequences of 60-boat rule is that it takes both parties by the scruff of the neck, brings them together and says you will have to reach across the aisle and cooperate, coordinate with your colleagues from the other party whether or not you like it." dick durbin, democrat of illinois said," these who are focusing on the nuclear option and not just forcing the rules to win but they want to force the rules to win every time." this is very important because senator reid and his caucus are saying that these rules have to be changed because a minority has been holding up legislation and blocking the nominations of the president. president obama has been able to get signature bills through, everything from obama care to his latest immigration bill and the vast majority of the president's executive and judicial nominees have all been
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confirmed. is noy minor loss rate worse are different and that prior presidents like president bush or clinton. confirmed 201 judges ed including two supreme court nominees, 29 have been confirmed this year alone, 38%. if that is a blockade, it is mighty port. poor. this is a serious subject but i have to put a personal note in here. i laughed at one point yesterday during the coverage of the debate. there was a discussion ongoing at the time of president obama's recess appointees to the national labor relations board which the district of columbia court of appeals found to be unconstitutional because the senate was not in recess at the time. excusing these appointments, senator reid said they were necessary at the time because
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senator reid, due to the unconscionable delay in the account -- in the consideration of the nominations of the nominees by the minority. it is interesting that two of the nlrb nominees were recess appointed on january 4, 2012. there were nominated by the president, december 15, 2011, two weeks before. i left because of my personal experience. senator reid believes that two weeks is an unconscionable delay and yet it was the same senator read the help of my nomination during a prayer administration for 2.5 years after senator obama put a hold on the nomination. the point is that the claims being made to the rules being changed because of the president's legislation and the nominees are being stopped and the president is suffering disproportionately.
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it is factually not true. why is this being done? i wouldell you that suggest that you read an interesting article that may give you a clue. it is in "mother jones"magazine that is not conservative. they had issued an article on january 9 of this year in which they described a meeting that was held in washington, one month after the november election. powerfulhe most liberal advocacy groups and unions in the country were at this meeting including the national education association, the sierra club, the sciu, the naacp and the afl-cio. the organizations at this meeting of the backbone of the liberal political world and they provide the money, the support, and a get-out-the-vote campaigns that the senator reid and his caucus in office. the goal of this meeting was to
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put together "a national coordinated campaign" to reshape the united states into a progressive, liberal utopia. of the three objectives that were agreed upon by these groups at the meeting, one of them was to get rid of the filibuster in the senate so that the majority party could ram through legislation and nominees with no opposition and no need to compromise with the minority. we have three very knowledgeable sources to discuss the origin of the filibuster. brian darling is and veteran of the senate and served on the status of several senators. martinez is currently counsel for rand paul of kentucky and served bob smith of new hampshire. fellow seven-year veteran
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of the heritage foundation where he started as director of senate relations for our installations to pardon and ended as a senior fellow for government studies. he offered "backgrounders for the heritage foundation that are relevant today and there are copies outside. for anyone watching, you can get these on the heritage website. one of them is called " tierney," --"tyranny." parlow marriage to -- as a parliamentarian and merit tests from 1981-2001 with a brief interlude briefemeritus. he was the assistant parliamentarian from 1975-1981 and the second assistant parliamentarian from 1966-1975. i hate to tell you how old i was in 1966 when you started.
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[laughter] i will not tell you that. a has also worked as parliamentary consultant to the consultantduams and parliaments in various other countries. he has taught at george washington university, georgetown university law center, george mason university, and a number of other universities. of" defendinghor the filibuster." last but not least, we will have james walder has worked in the house of representatives and the senate and is the executive director of the executive state -- of the senate is steering committee. he has been included on roll the top 50 staffers on capitol hill and is an adjunct professor in the area of politics and the congressional and presidential studies program
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at catholic university and the author of a forthcoming book. articlesso published from the journal of legislative studies and the forum. you, brian.over to you can speak for more ever you prefer. >> i prefer to sit down but i think everybody else will end up speaking from the podium so i will. i will speak until i no longer can speak. how much time do i have? do i have 13 hours? >> no, you don't. i am someoner -- who spent seven years here at the heritage foundation and wrote quite a bit about the filibuster. my opinion of the filibuster is pretty simple. it protects transparency. just look at the whole idea of the filibuster.
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we are talking about extended to debate. right now, there are nominations by dead senate majority leader and not one word from the senator has commenced on that filibuster. in the senate, you frequently have a fake filibuster where you don't really have any debate happening. you have the majority leader filing cloture a nomination before they were spoken when you get into these issues, it gets complicated. the senate rules are complicated but to take a back a step, it is simple to understand. what is a filibuster protect? it attacks the american people to participate in this process is to understand what the government is trying to do and know something about these nominees before they are confirmed. they're not inside the beltway in washington, d.c. they're watching it on c-span and reading about it in the newspaper and cloture is filed and you have two days to figure out something about a nomination on the senate floor.
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don't have much time to get up to speed. i wrote two papers for the party's foundation. one was "the filibuster protect the rights of all senators and the american people." i wrote that in january of 2011. the theme of that was the filibuster in the senate protect the rights of senators to debate legislation thereby protecting the interest of the american people. the filibuster actually realize the founders' intent that the senate slowed the legislative process to insure deliberation before passing a bill. if the filibuster is tossed aside for nominations, even just for executive-branch nominations, it is not too far or too difficult to see where that extends tio judicial nominations and over to legislation. if you look at the senate rules, there is no distinction in the senate rules and cloture roles between judicial nominations,
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executive-branch nominations, and legislation. the other paper i wrote was "tyranny in the united states senate." i argued that the senate majority leader has regularly used procedural tactic called filling the amendment tree to restrict senators rights to offer debate. my point there was that you have a situation on the legislative side where the majority leader and it is not unique to the current majority leader but it has happened more recent where the majority leader brings up legislation, offers amendments that make technical changes to the bill for the sole purpose of blocking other members of the senate for participating in the process. beingcks them from senators and what goes forward to the house or the president. this is what is happening now. in my opinion, the left wants to
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seize more power. , they want too so load up the executive branch, maybe the judiciary, and maybe they will go forward with legislation to forge a liberal agenda. this will be something that will take republicans now. it might be democrats in the future but night -- right now it will kick the republicans to decide for the rights have been chipped away by not allowing them to offer amendments, not allowing them to engage in extended debate. the senate is becoming more like a house every day where members do not have the power to get up, give a speech and offer an amendment, debate until they run out of breath until the cannot speak anymore, and that is something that is not good for our republic. when you look at what is happening now, you are hearing breaking the rules to change the
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rules. what does that mean? the rules are very specific. , rule 22 --rule when you read through the rules, you read the wealth of rules of the senate and you see the senate operates on a day-to- day basis in. hear them frequently asking unanimous consent to waive a rule here or there. that is the way the senate operates. has strict rules that they are consistently waving those rules by consent of all the members to move forward. what this would do is it would make a substantive change in the text of the roles. it would do so with a majority vote. you are are allowed to change the rules of the majority vote but to do so, the way you are supposed to do so, is to have actual debate on changing the rules vary during that debate, indeed a 2/3 majority to shut down debate. the senate has not been doing much over the past week. it had a couple of boats and there is not much we know of coming up in the next few weeks.
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not have that debate? had that debate for a week on the changing of the senate rules instead of using these nominations as a pretext to break the rules to change the rules. option. the nuclear what does that mean? wrote in march of 2005 that beginning in the 108th congress, the term nuclear option has often been used to refer to a procedure or course of action that would meet this requirement of bypassing the obstacles posed by the usual procedures for considering procedural changes. critics of this form of action have used this term to connote a unilateral resort to such a course by a majority of my under not mind traditional practices in the senate especially -- that would undermine the traditional practices in the senate that have been held to characterize the body. you hear nuclear option.
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when one side seizes power and takes the minority and says you cannot participate. get note mutually assured destruction. the minority will use all their rights to block everything that happens in the senate. the senate becomes a dysfunctional body. the senate operates by unanimous consent to do so many things and that goes away if you have mutual assured destruction as the nuclear option. sargent previewed this in "the washington post"a few weeks ago. he wrote that senate majority leader harry reid is increasingly focused on the month of july is a time to exercise so-called nuclear option and rivas about -- and revisit filibuster reform. he has said he is all but certain that if the gop blocks three key nominations.
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he probably consulted with president obama and the need to revisit filibuster reform and the president has told the majority leader that he will support the exercising of the nuclear option. the senior said that democrats expected democrats to publicly push for it. the president has said he will be there to support senator harry reid. the stocks that nominations and we are dealing with executive- branch nominations. this initial push was not limited to executive branch. it is something that will bleed over into the judicial branch. will see judicial nominations subject to the same thing in the future. how does this play out? we've got seven nominations right now that senate majority leader harry reid filed cloture on. we have richard cordray to be director of the consumer of financial protection, richard griffin to be in the nlrb,
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nlrb, bloch, mark gaston, thomas perxz, secretary and of labor. these nominees for the national labor relations board are very controversial. after the court ruled that obama recess appointments of three members or invalid richard cordray was also part of a recess appointment that was not subject to a lawsuit and the supreme court will decide nlrb cases. this action would probably take these actions out of the court and that is in the interest of this administration not to have the embarrassment of the supreme court if they came out with a decision contrary. play't know how this will after a i would love to hear by other members of the panel how this will happen to understand specifically how the nuclear
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option would even come into play. what happens on tuesday morning if there is no agreement how does it play out? is the threshold merely lowered from 60 to 50 votes or will all senate debate be declared dilatory. ? keep in mind two things -- when you look at this year, two of the biggest thing that happened politically were filibuster's. you hear the demonization of the filibuster. they say it slows everything down and blocks legislation. my boss rand paul filibuster on the senate floor for 13 hours. that raised every americans' awareness of the potential use of drones domestically in the united states. the american people heard it and were educated and having a national debate. in texas, the debate over abortion was raised by an individual getting up and filibuster legislation in the texas state legislature. those are issues in the public
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to maine -- domain because of filibuster. if either party back in 2005, republicans consider doing this for a 2013, democrats are. both parties should not consider doing this because it will ultimately destroy the nature of the senate and hurts our republic when you go down this road of making a very easy for the majority to steamroll the minority and not allow them to participate in the process. it would be really not wise for this to move forward. thank you. >> do you want to speak from there? >> sure. i came to the u.s. senate in 1966. when the senate was run by two leaders - senator mike mansfield of montana, the
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majority leader and senator everett dirksen other illinois, the minority leader. it was a very different senate then. was attacked and of the issue of civil rights. i remember just about nine years when ain 1975, republican vice president, nelson rockefeller, together with a bipartisan group led by ben senator walter mondale and then senator from kansas, james pierson, republican, led a fight which basically was the nuclear option.
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they were successful. they changed the cloture rule from 2/3 down to 60. is toe proposal, i guess, change the cloture rule down to 51. i am the co-author of a book entitled "defending the filibuster." whoote it with a gentleman worked initially for senator paul tsongas of massachusetts and stayed on the hill for 30 fors, ending up working senator carl levin of michigan.
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book reason we wrote this is we saw the benefits of the filibuster. when rich aronberg, my co- author, came into the parliamentarian's office in the that in0's, we knew order to pass a bill that senator tsongas was interested in called the alaska lands bill, senator,republican senator ted stevens, would have to sign off on if we were to get cloture. this forced a bipartisan approach to that bill. that that bill
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was adopted and signed by president carter but has been a successful build over the years. with theontrast that bill called the affordable care act. which was pushed through by senator harry reid without any bipartisan support. moment, thatthat was possible because senator reid had 60 votes in his caucus. bye to the change of parties senator arlen specter and suddenly, he had 60 votes. successfullyle to push through that bill.
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i would contrast those two bills in terms of their support in the country. i don't think it is a good thing for bills to have no support from the two parties. basically, what happened in the affordable care act was that the bill only had support from the democratic party. that is one of the reasons why we wrote the book, "defending the filibuster." it is true that right now senator reid does not have the 60 votes in his caucus. and he is supposedly going to " change nuclear option all that.
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this is not the first time this issue has come up. frist was theill senate majority leader and was oning frustrated by votes judicial nominations, he andosed the nuclear option the result was that a gang of 14, seven republicans and seven democrats, worked together and came to the floor and said no. we are not going down that road. to stop senator frist. result ofpe that as a the caucus on monday night there
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might be a similar group that would come to the floor and say, do not go down this road to. . having seen when the senate did go down that road, the repru cushions lasted for years. and the bitterness lasted for years. it's not something i would ever wish for the united states senate. the senate is an institution that i love. i worked there for 35 years. i now teach about how congress works at george washington university. and i honor the senate. can remember frankly that
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when this proposed, i went on the cbs evening news and suggested that if a group of senators would come to the loor and say stop the madness, we could stop it. and that's exactly what happened. and that's what stropped it. i sincerely hope that is what happens after that caucus on monday night and a group comes to the floor and says stop the madness. >> good afternoon. thank you to heritage for hosting us and thank you for letting me appear with these distinguished panelists. since i'm going last here i
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thought i would take a step back and try to put it in context and provide a framework we can think about what has been said. i think hopefully this will help us understand how we arrived at where we are today. it will help us understand why i think it's basically impossible to limit the use of the nuclear option in this instance to executive nominees which is what the majority has claimed they would like to do. and then lastly, and i think most importantly for the long term health of the institution but also the republic why i think why it is ultimately impossible to transform this senate into a purely ma jortarne body like the house of representatives. because of that i think it should give them pause in their efforts. if they go through with this it may result in more dysfunction at the end without arriving at the end point in which they would like to.
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i think first here, imagine a continue yume, think back to college and high school. ink of that as a rules based con tin yume. the house is obviously more rules based and the senate is better relations based. snt senate informal rules govern things. precedence, norms, traditions, acceptable behavior. this tells us something important about the legislative process. in the house it's rules based. the important dation decisions are made before they get to the floor. the floor is just to ratify those decisions. in the senate is legislative process is critical. because of that you often see large bipartisan image tiss support legislation once it goes through that process in the committee and on the floor. this is really important for the current discussion and the current issue the nuclear
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option and what is going to happen next week. the legislative process in the senate reveals important information about the level of resolve of both sides. and because of the process by which legislation is considered, the minority learns a lot of important stuff about how hard image tiss are willing to push to get what they want. and the majority learns important information about how hard the minority is willing to push and react if the majority tries to restrict their rights in some manner. this process has worked reasonably well throughout the institution's history i would think. however, today in the contemporary senate we have a problem because the legislative process no longer performs this function. today the process is almost completely broken down. it's almost nonexistent. and because of that senate image tiss have largsly acted to produce this by trying to achieve policy out comes
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without the input of senate minorities and even over their objections. if you look at what happens in the senate the number of amendments proposed, amendments that a senate goes down to the floor and offers to a bill has 2,164 to 974. the number of minority amendments proposed on the 1,043 as declined from to 400. and i think more importantly the number of recorded votes on amendments has declined from 428 to 228 in the last congress. and so when this happens, when there is virtually no floor process, the legislative process no longer tells us much about what side thinks is important and how hard they are willing to fight for their
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goals. when that happens the current way of business creates dysfunction because in a relation al body when you don't have a lot of rules to tell you what you can and can't do, you have a lot of leeway to do things. now both sides have insent toif use that to persuade the other side what they want to do is important and they will push as hard as they can to get it. what does this have to do with where we are today? number one the current situation is unsustainable and the way we have bills on the floor tells us nothing about what each side thinks is important. i think how the situation is resolved next week will encourage senate to employ nuclear options. this reinforce it is dynamic we've seen. this is no surprise we are where we are today. we have seen this play out over the years. in january 2011. the senate to diffuse a similar
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situation passed a compromise rules proposal. we eliminated the requirement that amendments be read and we eliminated the practice of secret holds. the senate reformed the executive process where some were removed from the process entirely and others were given a new special expedited process. in exchange the minority was given a gentleman's agreement where if they refrained from filibuster the majority would allow them to offer amendments. that fell apart. fast forward to october 2011. precedent was created where amendments could be offered on a bill because they had been shut out during regular course of business. majority leader reid didn't like that so he employed the nuclear option to get rid of that. fast forward to january 2012 the president disregarded the
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constitution and made appointments even though they were in session. the scourt has decided to take up that case. in january 2013 there was yet another bipartisan rules agreement designed to diffuse tension and to discourage the majority from going nuclear. but i would argue that none of these instances especially the negotiated compromises actually worked. they may have made the situation even worse. this is why we can't restrict what is happening next week if it does in fact happen to just executive nominees because the minority will be in a worse position decpide having cooperated in these other instances in the past. because the majority learns a lesson each time. the majority is rational and it says this works. if we threaten and bluster and beat our chest, the minority will give us what we want. right now i think we are seeing that understanding unravel.
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but they can still take that lesson from this situation. and if they do, you could see this threat employed again on d.c. circuit court nominees on a supreme court nominee. on controversial legislation. there is no rational reason why they would limit themselves to just executive nominees. and this brings me to my concluding point on why i don't believe the senate can become the house. this has to do with the priding officer. despite the wishes of the current majority the senate cannot become a body like the house. this is critical because the nuclear option whereby they would effect that change is dependant upon a complacent priding officer. yet the constitution stipulate lates the president is our presiding officer. this is problematic because in a rules based body like the house you have to have a strong officer, you have to have the speaker to enforce order.
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throughout history all senators in all parties have been hesitant to enforce order. this is because the vice president is not a member of the senate. he may not be a member of the same party as the majority party. and even if he is, it's not clear he'll have the same priorities as the majority party. so what does all this mean? if in fact the nike option is employed next week, it will destroy the comedy on the relational aspect of gnat decision making is based and it will shift toward this rules based model the house follows. however the stipulation that the vice president is our presiding officer will prohibit us from getting all the way there. the result will be even more of a dysfunctional body and can't operate at all because we don't have a strong presiding officer like the speaker.
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yet the comedy that bob referred to is gone. so we're in this weird no man's land where it's very difficult to do anything. that would be bad for the republic and terrible for the senate. >> we will be happy to answer questions. the only thing i ask you wait for the microphone so our viewers around the country can hear your question. if i would identify who you are when you ask the question. i would ask one thing and that is to ask a question please and not make a statement. >> can i ask one from the podium? >> of course. >> i want to ask these guys what do you think is going to happen? i think bob would have a great perspective on what is actually going to happen on tuesday morning? how does this play out? this prumes that there is no gang that comes out of the
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monday night discussion. >> unfortunately what i think is going to happen is that senator reid is going to play out this game. and the result i think will be disasterous. >> i agree. >> any questions from the udience? >> the heritage foundation. this is primarily a question for james although the other two might want to comment on it too. you talked about the merits of the filibuster whether there is a option to employ the nuclear option. we know within the context of the senate rules today, there is a majority approach with regard to the budget. to what extent oh do you think that the legislative dysfunction is resulting from that particular element of
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senate rules as oh plice to the bummingt and therefore to the broad array of legislation in terms of the relationship based decision making process that you eluded to. >> i think the budget is a great example of why rules aren't a panacea. the budget is a majoritarian document in the senate. a majority can pass it. we didn't pass one for several years and finally passed one. we are far apart on agreement for a budget with the house. it goes to show you significant conflict can exist even in a majority body and dysfunction can still exist. >> could i just chime in because i helped write the budget act. i was part of a group that senator byrd called in to his
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office to go through the budget t and make sure that "it worked." my contribution was writing in to the bummingt act what was muss he standard yuan consent agreement providing that amendments had to be germane. that there was a limitation on time of amendments, providing that the motion to proceed would not be debatable. i will tell you that in the 1970's when that act was written, there were many attempts to overcome the idea of senate filibusters. and that was just one of them. he war powers act was another. the whole idea of the
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legislative veto was very popular in the 1970's. and many things were written into law that avoided a filibuster. this was seen as a way of getting around the problems of dealing with senate bills on the floor. unfortunately, i can tell you that our intentions were good. but by creating something called the reconciliation bill, we created a monster. again, a bill that can pass with only majority support and as been repeatedly used by various presidents. the whole idea of the budget process was to cut the
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president out of the budget. but presidents have learned they can use this budget process whether it was president ronald reagan who got through his budget program or president bill clinton who got through his budget program or president george w. bush who got through his tax cuts. bills that would never have passed had they been subject to a senate filibuster. and in that sense, there is blood on these hands because i helped create it. sorry. >> that wasn't my intention. >> this question is for mr. dubs. it's unclear to me there is
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anything that would limit the precedent we're talking about to certain types of nominations on the executive calendar. is that you're view? >> that is exactly my view. my reaction is you go down this road and you have turned the senate into a manualty institution and you have made it much like the house of representatives. and my reaction is the senate was never intended to be like the house of representatives. > what types of things would parliamentariens office consider? >> unfortunately if you look at hat the ability of the parliamentarian's office to control what the chair has said, i came to the senate when the vice president of the united states humphrey cared not a whip for the advice of
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the senate parliamentarian and made rulings consistently that were against the advice of the parliamentarian. my reaction is that a determined vice president can return to that model. now the problem with that is that suddenly the vice president plays a role which frankly hasn't been played since hube bert humphrey. he had no role in the johnson administration. he was totally shut out. and so he found himself a home in the senate. since jimmy carter gave mondale an office in the west wing, vice presidents have really enjoyed in effect becoming part of the executive branch. i don't know whether vice president biden would enjoy reverting to the vice
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presidential role of hube bert humphrey or not but he would have to if he were going to lay that role. -- i would like your thoughts if you could share a little more information on your boss' filibuster sh maybe some background. >> sure. again, the filibuster has been demonized so much but most people look at that as a good use of the filibuster. it's been perceived it was a filibuster of the nomination of john brennan and it was in a sense but it wasn't also. for him to get the floor and do what he did, he was actually blocking the majority leader from filing a motion to proceed to that nomination.
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and i'll tell you, it's out in the public do main he's written an on ed in the washington post about how it played out. but i can tell you he didn't plan on speaking for 13 hours. he jokes he wasn't wearing his comfortable shoes. he was on his way to the senate floor. he had done some preparation for the filibuster that he wanted to do but it wasn't intended on being on that day, it was intended on the next day and he didn't intend talking for 13 hours. as it went on i was down watching him. it was amazing to me that he can speak for hours on end atough cuff. he did have notes and that was spurring thoughts. but it was amazing to see him go off the cuff an hour at the time. then i think it kept him going when other senators came down to the floor and asked questions of him.
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senator ted cruz and mike lee were the first two to come down and ask questions and they had a back and forth with question and answer. he couldn't yield the floor for any point. he could yield for questions. he did yield for questions. and as you saw if you watched it, there were many senators that came down. a democrat from came own to get involved in that. it was an amazing thing to down -- or or that came to get involvement in that. it is something that raised that issue to the level that it's talked about more so than it was before. that was important. it spurred a response from the obama administration. i think by the end of it he was wear and i don't think he's
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excited to run down and do that again anytime soon. but it was a great opportunity and i think a lesson for a lot of people. and one of the roles of the senate is talking, getting people involved, getting people to think about issue that is they may not have thought about before. >> if i could just comment, to me the glory of the senate are the people like rand paul. senator william approximate mire left the senate. he had single hand edly stopped a project called the sst and he ad done it by talking. it is something that the house has no rule that allows people to talk. only the senate has a rule that allows people to talk.
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and if you get rid of that, to me you have gotten rid of the senate. >> i would just add, it's not just talking, right. we've already seen the restriction in your ability to propose amendments, germane or otherwise on the floor. that's going to continue even more if they get rid of the filibuster for executive nominees and potentially other things. it's the ability to talk. but both of those are crucial planks in what makes the senate great. >> i'm barbara dean. i hear you talk about if this happens on tuesday what the result will be theoretically. what will republicans do, do you think, if reid goes forward with this and wins? what will be the response? > it will not be pleasant.
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you will have poured poison into a well that will be there .or years and years and years >> that was kind of my first question to it matters what happens. it's unclear exactly what happens. are we going to have reid go down to the floor and say extended debate is dilatory i'm shutting it down. or does he say the 60 vote threshold is unconstitutional and need to be lowered to 50 votes or a simple majority. if that happens, if you still have the procedure in tact just the threshold lower you have the opportunity to have debate time on a nomination for eight hours with seven nominees. multiply that out, that could
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take a while. it's unclear exactly how this is going to play out because we don't know what the precedent is going to be going forward. some people may know. but i have not seen exactly what reid is intending on doing. >> i would just like to say how the minority respond is just as important as whether or not reid goes forward because if the minority chooses not to respond or to respond in a way that does not cause discomfort with the majority, then the dynamic that i laid out since january of 2011 if not before continues. and we find ourselves at another crisis point in the future. >> i would not count on senator mcconnell not responding. >> we do have time for more questions. anyone else?
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>> i share your concerns and the complaints of the minority party, i don't think we've really discussed the role that the minority party has had in getting us here. there are legitimate complaints or criticism that is the majority is making that it takes nine months for the . erage nominee to have a vote so if the panel could respond to some of the criticisms that he majority is making. >> i think both parties are guilty of it. both parties obstruct. look what happened in 2005. democrats were obstructing. democrats were rewarded if not, maybe just not punished.
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i think when you get into nominations your average american's eyes glaze over unless you are talking about a cabinet level nominee or supreme court nominee. i don't think they are decisive political issues. but i don't think anybody has been punished for slowing down nominations. maybe at times. i'm sure there are members of the senate that want to block a nomination for the export bank nominee. they want to slow the process down of certain institutions and that is part of the political process. nothing prevents the majority leader from saying i'm going to file a chloe tour. i'm going to make you come down and talk. there really is nothing preventing that from happening today. we live in a world in the
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nate where you see clot tour filed. there isn't much debate. it's usually an empty chamber. you have this vote pop up in two days and everybody runs away or they set a 60 vote threshold. it doesn't say you can't keep the process going and grind down. you just don't see that happening. negotiate party has done that. it has happened in the past but in recent memory i don't remember that happening. when you said the mansfield foundation. i remember the senator very well. he was absolutely loved by his fellow senators. he was the most fair majority leader i have ever seen. but i remember also on his watch the filibuster of the
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nomination of lyndon johnson to chief bat fortiss as justice of the supreme court. i remember how uneasy a lot of people were because they had never seen a filibuster of a supreme court justice. and it was led by robert griffin and it was successful. and then of course we learned more about abe fortiss and we were probably a little glad that he was not the chief justice. and then i saw the filibusters zwell to be on the supreme court and that was successful.
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and the more we learned about him, we were kind of glad that he wasn't on the supreme court. so i don't see filibusters as a terrible thing. to me, they can be very educational. >> i would like to emphasize that brian mentioned the process and how it's broken down. and we don't have a process 234i78. but the numbers have been written about they are out there. metrix do matter. if you take the number of nominees that have been submitted or proposed to the senate and then take the number that have been confirmed you get a percentage. that percentage for president obama is higher than it ever was for president bush and higher than it ever was for president clinton. if you look at the ones that have been slowed down. if you look at the nominees on the calendar today, the nominees, the pace is
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controlled by democratic committee chairman. and then finally if you look at any nominee that is we blocked and i'm not sure that there's been many. there have been two i believe. the democrat, the current majority you could say started this. but i don't like to go down that road because what bob said is correct. we don't need to get too far away from the fundamental issue at stake had is how the senate makes decisions and how it is set up to make decisions. and my argument is going down this road undermines the senate's ability to work. it's a great debt triment to the country. >> we have time for one more question. to dr. e a question wall ner and his argument there
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would be a break down and a no man's land if the rules are changed and atefft to make the senate a more rules based institution. the constitution doesn't have very many restrictions on the senate. i mean it does say the vice president is the president of the senate but doesn't define the rules. what stops the senate from adjusting and creating something more like a speaker of the house position even if it would be in a no man's land for a short period of time, couldn't it adjust to becoming an effective body again? >> the senate adjusts all the time. it changed the way it makes decisions since the beginning in response to different issues. it determines it's rules internally but it does so in response to external factors.
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it does that. but it does it together. it does it in a bipartisan way. and because of that bipartisanship it is inherently stable. today we're in an unstable situation because of the lack of mutual agreement and mutual buy in on how the senate is going to make decisions. not on what the legislation is going to be but on how we're going to consider the legislation. first, we saw prior to this over the past several years this majority use it's prerogatives to approximate for a majority rule in the house. block motions to proceed to plock out extreme efforts to get votes on things. filing chloe tour on the same day a bill is brought to the floor. you still have to entice and force through public pressure a few republican senators in the minority to join with you. once that breaks down, there is
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only one other place to go and hat is to get rid of the cloture rule. i don't think you will be able to find sustainable order in this mode. >> if i could add, you say the vpt could become like the speaker -- vice president could become like the speaker. i can robert byrd when he was majority leader informing the vice president, senator mondale who was speaking at the time that he had no right to speak to the senate. unanimous ough consent could the vice president speak. i can tell you the senate has done nevering its power to minimize the role of the vice president. and they have been quite successful at that. i don't think the vice
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president ever could play the role of the speaker. i can tell you one former speaker of the house who tried nd that was john garner when he was vice president. and he was the reason that the office that i finally held snalt parliamentarian was set up because he started making statements that when the chair was authorized to point confer rees he would make some independent decision on them. that was not what the senate had in mind. and they set up the senate parliamentarian's office in 1937 to tame that particular vice president. >> efficiency is not inherently good. we don't want an inefficient senate, we want a senate that
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works slower so the american people can participate. what bothers me many people look at the american people and say you show up and vote and that's the last we want to hear from you. this is a process that is ongoing where people get to talk to their members of congress and say hey, you know that nominee coming up, here are my feelings about that nominee. if you have an efficient senate that will deteriorate. why need debate at all? why flot let the leader take up anything he wants and no debate and just vote. vote on whatever legislation and approved amendments that you want? and the answer is we don't want the senate to work like that. it's never worked like that and it's been a pretty good institution. the american people don't like the house and don't like the senate. it's legitimate to look at
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congress and be upset about it but the reason why they have such low approval ratings is because all the deliberation is out in public. the executive branch doesn't do that. all their discussion is behind closed doors. you don't see people fighting and arguing. the administration speaks with one voice the president of the united states. the senate speaks with hundreds of voices. it looks like they are yelling and arguing. but that's the way our founders wanted it to have an inefficient senate that doesn't get things done quickly but gets things done eventually. >> i want to thank everyone for coming including our c-span viewers. and thank our panel with a round of applause. [applause]
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captioning by the national captioning institute >> senate majority leader heir reid says he had the votes needed to change the rules on the filibuster. they are using the fill bust tore block many of president obama nominees. it's called nuclear because they say they will block all movement in the senate if it's assed. senator reid will speak monday
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morning about potential changes in those senate rules. our live coverage will begin at 10:30 eastern. >> president obama recently eturned from a trip to africa. there is a panel discussion getting under way right now on the president's trip and the new policy. live coverage here on c-span. >> a major shift that is not entirely there both in the u.s. and africa where perceptions of sur suit of commercial interests and profit. there has always been something seen as unsightly about that when you talk about africa. we are moving to the idea these commercial ties if managed well can help drive growth, employment, development and enduring ties of mutual interest. this is welcome in the u.s. but
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particularly among an up and coming generation of africans. on june 30 the president announced the africa initiative. that ames to tackle one of the drags on the well being of african communities particularly in rural areas. perhaps the greatest obstacle to their economic growth and a huge barrier for potential investors looking to engage in africa and that is access to reliable and affordable electricity. the focus on energy is extremely important and the hope is this initiative gains in momentum and gets the holding power needed to be truly transform ma tive. i think the turnout today atests to the excitement that the nishive has generated. there is bipartisan support in congress to tackle this issue with chairman royce,
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congressman smith. the legislation lecktrify africa act of 2013. so this is really an important opportunity and important we make the most of it. we're very happy to have with who ay andrew herscowitz is with the power africa and trade africa initiative. he everybody ised in you can wador. deputy director in peru and previously with the office of development credit. andrew has a major task ahead of him. he's going to have to coordinate the many agencies involved in this nishive and we want to see him succeed and the initiative succeed. we're goge to hear about the
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initiative and what should we look for to gauge progress. we're going to take a few questions and at 2:00 he has an mportant commitment. andrew, welcome and thanks again for joining us. [applause] >> this is quite a crowd for 1030 on a friday afternoon in the summer in washington, d.c. i'm guessing there is a strong appetite for information about power africa and you guys have the right person to be able to speak to you about something like this. i've been dying to speak about power africa for several months now. i'm at your dispose toll answer the questions you have. i'm going to be brief. let me give you a general over jow of how we got to where we
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are today. for me this is probably the most exciting thing that i've seen in development in a long time in the united states. and the reason is this approach we're taking this whole of government approach and putting this initiative in the field and having it driven by the private sector and multiple u.s. government agencies, that presents a huge challenge but it's a level of communication we're having which is already making this a success. when i first joined usaid 15 years ago i'm a lawyer by training i was in the general counsel's office. i was in the office for development credit and i felt during my first few months i was spending half my time arguing with,pec arguing what our mandate was. i found it extremely frustrating. but then what i saw these turf
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battles were forcing us to better define our missions and forcing people to defend their bummingts, forcing people to be more creative and producing great results. so i think i've learned a lot from that and strg structure we have is outstanding and will lead to great results. my only hope is one year from now if there is another event like this we have the same kind of crowd we have now that is interested in power africa. >> it emerged from a trip that was taken from folks from the white house a little over a year ago to africa and they were looking at what are the key constraints to growth in africa in these particular countries. and what they saw around them and this was confirmed with staff members whoy met with who had a similar trip is they were looking at companies who were working in countries enjoying a high rate of growth and weren't able to keep up with power for
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production. they were burning diesel generators and polluting. so they need a solution for this. that is what power africa is about, how we can keep these companies on a sustainable path to rapid development. increasing connect ift and access for people and trying to promote clean energy solutions. because in africa we're in the inheriting the old grid we have in the united states. we have opportunities not presented to us in the united states. it's similar to the cell phone analogy where they have jumped over land lines and now trying o do the same thing for power. traditionally development approach was spending years, maybe a decade or more trying to create the proper regulatory environment sew that the are the private sector would come
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in and make its investments. we're flipping that model and looking at tractions that are already in the pipeline or might come on to the pipeline, large energy traction that is have the potential to be transformation al. figuring out what the government can do from its existing tool box or developing new tools. whether that's technical assistance or loan guarantees, technical assistance from the department of energy, perhaps a policy push from the state department through the ambassador. what can we do to remove the obstacles to these tractions or use our tools to expedite these tractions? basically we're putting a large carrot on the table for these host governments and saying if you want to increase the amount of electricity by one gig watt, 400 megawatts you need to make the following reforms.
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we're here to help you. we're not going to pay for them. we'll help you get the private sector investors. but you need to make the commitments. what does that look like? i take a country where there is a large gee thermle traction, it may be the host government has never negotiated a purchase agreement before. we can help find lawyers or actually i can tell you more about how we would do that but basically provide the government the legal assist thans it needs to negotiate that agreement. at the same time, it may be that the developer or financeser needs a guarantee so opec could do that. d maybe that someone needs a feezeblet study. so it's taking all of our tools and sitting around a table and
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figuring out how can we push forward. the participating agencies are pem, axim, department of treasury, usaid. usda. epartment of transportation. uzz african development foundation and if there is anyone i left off let me know. it's a big number. the country we're focusing in now or kenya, answer the knee i nigeria na, liberia, and either open i can't. now the amount of buzz that . wer africa has generated >> ghana, tanzania. either open i can't. nigeria, can't --
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liberia and kenya. there are six of them. >> i was proud of myself for remembering them all. what we've seen already is we're seeing multiple not just other embassies and other u.s. aid missions who want to be part of power africa but other countries that want to be part of it. what does it mean to be part of power africa? it's meant to compment a lot of activities that are already doing great things from the u.s. government and other agencies. you have the department of ate had is managing the u.n. initiative in ghana. the millennium coorgs is in the ghana sector. have you the partnership for growth in ghana and answer the
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knee i can't. you have u.s. aids for africa. you have epec and tda which recently launched their clean energy facility. you have the egci initiative out of the state department. we have all those initiatives and programs and activities. what power africa does is brand the activities by using existing tools and making sure they are talking to one another, complimenting one another and that we're basically trying to increase the impact their having. but most importantly what power africa is doing is we have additional financesing to provide the tools for things like partnership for growth. along those lines one of the things that we're doing to ensure this collaboration is in washington we have an interagent si tractions group. and weekly it gets together and
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look at different tractions in the pipeline and it's for information sharing. this is the best part of what is going on now. we had a meeting yesterday. someone from an agency mentioned a company that approached them. people from other agencies said maybe we can do a feasibility study for them. there might be an issue with them on this. another person raised a technical point. this is the type of collaboration. it was almost like a development cabinet meeting on a weekly basis. it's limited to this sector but it's the model for how development government can work in the future. why don't i leave it at that and take some questions. my time is limited because i'm picking up my son from summer camp after he's been gone for a month. >> [inaudible] . >> we hope so. >> so the question is are we
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competing with china or working with china? we're going to work with china because our goal is to increase power available on the african continent. why don't i take a group of questions and then i can try to ddress them. >> [inaudible] . > as of a month ago opec was talking about a carbon cap. is something going to be done bout that? >> i just want to know what were the criteria of selecting these six countries of so many countries and challenges and roblems all across africa?
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thank you. >> thank you so much for the power africa. my question is i come from kenya. how is the power africa going . involve the african society we need to you involve the civil society to know what you are doing, who are being helped and will help you make it better than relying on just government and companies. >> let me answer this first round of questions quickly. your point is a great one. that's why i'm moving there in three weeks. this is the first initiative based outside of the united states. although i'm counting on somebody to tell me 150 years
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ago something like this happened. we're going to be based out of the african continue nt. we have $14 billion. you have banks providing financing to developers. in over 30 days we got over $14 billion in private sector commitments. the majority of the private sector commitments come from african or it's a good share of it. we have several billion dollars in commitment frs african companies and banks and organize sastes. when i mentioned this idea of providing legal service to host governments. we're looking at trying to fund african legal support facility so that they would be charged with not just providing legal services to host governments but also doing capacity building and training for government lawyers so that this will be a sustainable endeavor. on the issue of what does it take to be a power africa
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country, this has evolved. a lot was determined based on the current traction, the deal flow. this six countries is somewhat fluid. but what we're really looking for is there a strong host government commitment to make the tough reforms. that may be cost reflective tariffs which is very politically unpopular or breaking up a utility. but we want to make sure there is a strong host government commitment to make the tough reforms. otherwise even if we invested billions of dollars in a country it's not going to make a difference unless they make those reforms. this initiative is about leverage radging and coordination and making difficult reforms so that we create a better enabling environment for the private sector to come in. if we can have success with one or two large tractions in a country and it required to government to make those tough reforms then more private
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sector competition will come in. on the carbon cap, i'm not the person to address that. that would be more an issue in congress. we're aware of that issue though. >> another round of questions? >> there has been various publicity figures that have come out since the trip doubling the amount of energy in africa, 20 million people have access. could you give me the bottom line figures. what i've read is 8,000 mega watts. what is the current access in africa l it really double? it seems much smaller scale than being advertised but i would appreciate the baseline figures. > any other questions?
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>> this is a time where republicans and democrats fight each other morning, noon and night including in this room. this seems to be packaged for both republicans and democrats. am i correct? you have all this dealing with the government in a initiative by president obama who occasionally gets criticized in this town but you are opening the door and leveraging for the private sector. that's something my friend dalk about morning noon and night and in their sleep. >> you've hit the nail on the head. we have bipartisan support so far. the press has been almost 99% positive on this. i've seen very little criticism of it. we're doing things the right way. u.s. aid mission is not to create jobs for americans but
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the department of commerce is heavily sflolved this. if g serks able to sell a turbine in one of the countries and that creates jobs that's what we want to do. it's about creating jobs and new opportunities. this is an economic growth initiative. this is about creating opportunities for u.s. companies and african companies which creates jobs for people and improves their lives. is going her benefits to come out of this. an issue of 10,000 mega watts and 20 million. that was based on we're confident that we will hit those numbers. now by what year i think it's by 2020 we're confident we'll hit those numbers. that's based on the deal flow we are supporting right now. we expect additional tractions to come online.
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doubling the number of people is aspirational and if we continue this, i have absolute confidence we will be able to do that over time. >> all the hands went up now when i said that. how are we going to do it? >> i apologize people in the back. my fingers can only point so far right now. >> thank you for your remarks first of all and for this initiative. most of the financing organizations you've talked about are concerned with debt and taking risk on the debt. but i haven't seen any of them that take risk on the equity. typically that comes from the counter part to the p.p.a. which often isn't able to provide the kind of security equity looks for. any part of your initiative geared toward protecting equity? i'm concerned a little bit.
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do we have to go to nigh robe by to get involved or will you ? ve a website is interagency traction is leading the sec taret for the initiative. we're looking at having two one-stop shops. a one-stop shop on the african continue nt and this is blue sky right now but we're looking to develop this to have a place where people are familiar with all the transactions of the agencies and the same type of thing here in washington to create opportunity. we've been talking to department of commerce about having an outreach

Public Affairs
CSPAN July 12, 2013 9:00am-2:01pm EDT

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TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 42, Africa 25, U.s. 16, Washington 15, United States 13, Reid 11, Barbara Willer 9, Harry Reid 9, Mali 8, Northern Mali 8, Nlrb 7, Wilson 7, Texas 7, Fisa 6, Libya 6, America 6, Chris Chapman 6, Obama 5, Undersigned 5, California 5
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